I read Sam Karlin’s article, “GOP leaders at odds over LA’s open primaries,” which appeared in The Advocate on March 30. I have some experience working elections and that experience leads me to believe that Louisiana’s open primary system is the most efficient.

The open primary system allows anyone to qualify for the general election. The voters then get an opportunity to vote for a wider choice of candidates than they would have an opportunity to vote for in either a closed Democratic or Republican primary election.

Having a closed primary system would tend to focus the public’s attention on the Democratic or Republican candidates, thereby limiting the public’s choices. Closed primaries would also lead to increased taxpayer expense, since the primaries of the major parties are paid for by the taxpayers.

If you are a Republican you would be paying for the Democratic Party to select their nominee. If you are a Democrat, you would be paying for the Republican Party to select their nominee. If you are a voter with no party affiliation you would be paying for both major parties to select their nominees to the general election and you would not be able to vote in either primary.

If no closed primary candidate received a majority of the vote in the primary, there would be a runoff election which would increase taxpayer expense. After the primary runoffs, there would still be a general election with the possibility of another runoff election and additional taxpayer expense.

The major parties have too much control over the election process as it is. Why give them more control? We have an efficient system now and it works to the voter’s advantage.

Why not focus our efforts on making the casting of a ballot more accessible to all Louisianans through mail-in voting and early voting days than wasting time making voting more complex?


retired supervisor