Rhode Island GOP to Have Closed Primary Elections?

Boston.com is reporting that the Rhode Island Republican Party is considering changing it’s party rules to only allow registered Republican voters to cast ballots in it’s nominating primaries.

Republican officials are considering whether to close their primary to unaffiliated voters so that only registered party members can vote.

The plan is expected to be taken up at an executive committee meeting next Tuesday and, if approved, could be forwarded to the state’s party members for a vote. Giovanni Cicione, the Republican Party chairman, said the closed primary, if approved, probably would not be put into place until 2012….

…The state’s primary rules became an issue in 2006 when the conservative Laffey lost the primary to Lincoln Chafee, a moderate, who urged Democratic supporters to drop their party affiliation to vote for him in the Republican primary.

I have long been an advocate of doing away with Primaries, Open or Closed, in favor of a Caucus system.

Political Parties are private organizations, and the state and  municipalities should not have to bear the cost of holding a publicly funded election to determine a private organizations nominee for an office.

At the same time, a party has the absolute right to determine who can vote in it’s nomination process.

That being said, would a Closed Massachusetts GOP Primary be a half-way measure?  Have only actual registered Republicans choose Republican nominees while still having the ease of access of a Primary?

What say you?

About Paul R. Ferro

Paul R. Ferro is Senior Editor at RedMassGroup.com. The 9th registered user of RedMassGroup.com, Paul has been with RMG from it's inception. He's also a former 4-term Marlborough City Councilor and currently serves as Chairman of the Marlborough Republican City Committee. You can follow him on twitter @PaulFerro