Quinn lobbies for "open" primary legislation

November 15, 2010

by Sean Crawford

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(Flickr/Lynn Schnitzer)

Gov. Pat Quinn has wants to change to how voters cast ballots in primary elections. Few people expect Quinn's plan to become law.

Anyone who has voted in an Illinois primary understands the choice: voters must declare party affiliation and then only that ballot can be used. This process prevents someone from, for example, voting for a Democrat for governor and a Republican for treasurer.  Reform groups have lobbied for years to make Illinois' primary "open". They say it would increase turnout among those who don't want to be identified with one party or the other.

Gov. Pat Quinn agrees and earlier this year he took an election related piece of legislation and inserted open primary language.

Of course there are questions if the governor overstepped his legal authority to totally rewrite a measure. But that's not the real sticking point.

The General Assembly will likely shelve Quinn's changes as party leaders use primaries as a way to keep tabs on who is voting and  target them  for campaign donations.

 

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