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Bills to open Pennsylvania’s primary elections to independent voters pass in state House committee

BY: - October 17, 2023

Legislation that would open Pennsylvania’s primary elections to roughly 1.2 million voters who aren’t registered with a political party passed in a state House committee on Tuesday. Two identical bills, one sponsored by a Democrat and one by a Republican, would allow voters who have no party affiliation to choose which party’s primary ballot they […]

Pa. House committee will consider open primary legislation

BY: - October 12, 2023

The Pennsylvania House State Government Committee will consider a pair of bills next week that would do away with the state’s closed primary system. “There are as many as one million unaffiliated voters in Pennsylvania, and their numbers have been increasing,” House State Government Committee Chair Scott Conklin (D-Centre) said in a news release. “These […]


It’s time for Pennsylvania to open its primary elections to all voters

BY: - September 15, 2023

This article is part of U.S. Democracy Day, a nationwide collaborative on Sept. 15, the International Day of Democracy, in which news organizations cover how democracy works and the threats it faces. To learn more, visit Pennsylvania’s closed primaries keep most voters out of a key part of the decision-making process, namely which candidates […]

A voting sign in Philadelphia

House committee hears testimony on changing state’s closed primary: ‘Why can’t Pennsylvania?’

BY: - June 22, 2023

It’s the latest effort aimed at including independent or unaffiliated voters in a part of Pennsylvania's voting process that presently only allows voters aligned with Democrats or Republicans to determine who appears on November general election ballots.

A push to repeal Pa.’s closed primaries is up for discussion (again) in Harrisburg

BY: - June 22, 2023

There have been previous attempts to change this part of the state’s election code: Last year, a similar bill failed to advance out of committee, and a 2019 bill passed the Senate, but died in the House. 


We’re Pa. college students. Let’s fix the broken primary system we’re inheriting | Opinion

BY: - May 26, 2023

College-aged voters register as unaffiliated voters at disproportionate levels. But we're shut out of the primaries.

Closed primary elections disenfranchise independent voters, veterans, House committee hears

BY: - August 16, 2022

Jennifer Bullock has stood outside polling places on primary Election Day for the last 15 years with a sign reading “I can’t vote. Ask me why.”


Tuesday’s Pa. primary elections are a big deal: We need to make it easier for people to vote | Opinion

BY: - May 17, 2019

These elections are a BFD, as Joe Biden would say, why not make it easier for voters to have their say?

These two party bosses used to oppose open primaries. Now, they’re all in

BY: - May 1, 2019

Alan Novak spent eight years as the chairman of Pennsylvania’s Republican Party, trying to secure votes for GOP candidates across the state. During that time, Novak said, his party “didn’t think much about independent” voters. And as a party boss, he didn’t think that voters should participate in primary elections unless they registered as Democrats […]

Good-government groups join forces to push open primaries to top of Pennsylvania’s reform agenda

BY: - April 30, 2019

Pennsylvania currently has closed primaries, meaning a registered voter can only help narrow a field of candidates in the spring if they belong to the same party.