Tenn. Republican Party leaders reject closed primaries

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The executive committee of the state Republican Party has turned back an effort to hold closed primaries in Tennessee.

The panel voted 37-29 on Saturday against the resolution aimed at requiring party registration to vote in primary contests.

Currently, Tennessee voters aren’t registered by party, and people sometimes vote in a particular primary because of campaign developments rather than party affiliation.

Supporters of closed primaries say crossover voting can unduly influence the outcome of nomination contests.

And while state law allows challenges for people who are “not a bona fide member” of a political party, that status is not clearly defined.

Any change in voting laws would have to be approved by the General Assembly. But because Republicans hold supermajorities in both chambers, GOP executive committee decisions carry extra weight.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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