Independent Voter Project
Montana GOP: Join a Party in Order to Vote
The Great Falls Tribune reported Friday that Montana Republicans filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of the United States to close the June 7 primary to registered party members only. IVN News has long followed efforts by the Republican and Democratic parties to close their primaries and predicted this would happen in early 2015.
The Montana GOP’s State Central Committee joined the lawsuit challenging Montana’s open primary system in January 2015. Under the current system, voters are able to choose which party ballot they want to vote on when they participate in primary elections and are not required to declare party affiliation when they register to vote.
The plaintiffs argue that the Republican Party’s constitutional right of association is being violated because non-Republican voters “cross over” and try to influence the outcome in legislative districts. However, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ruled in December that there were too many unproven claims by the plaintiffs to issue an injunction that would close the June primaries.