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View Diary: NATIONAL! The smoking gun on voter registration fraud: Nathan Sproul (217 comments)

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  •  Nathan Sproul bars Independents from GOP primary (3.66)

    Ruling bars independent voters from GOP presidential primary

    Saturday, 4 December 1999

    By Howard Fischer
    Capitol Media Services

    PHOENIX - If you are not a registered Republican, you will have to sit out the presidential primary in February.
    Attorney General Janet Napolitano said a voter-approved change in the constitution giving independents the right to vote in primaries applies only to races for state offices.
    The 1992 law setting up a state presidential preference primary is based on different principles, she said, exempting it from the terms of the initiative.
    The formal opinion means GOP presidential contenders will not have to spend time and resources trying to appeal to people who are not registered party members.
    Conversely, if politicians such as Sen. John McCain are counting on support from beyond their own party to win, they will have to persuade supporters to change their party registration.
    Napolitano's opinion does not affect the Democrats, who operate and pay for their own primary in March, making it exempt from state law. In fact, state party Chairman Mark Fleischer said he will ask party officials to open the Democratic primary to independents.
    But Nathan Sproul, executive director of the state Republican Party, said he agrees with Napolitano's decision. ``We think it's logical for Republicans to tell Republican delegates who to cast their votes for at the national convention,'' he said.
    The 1998 measure, proposed by lawmakers, was designed to answer complaints by independents they were effectively disenfranchised in some elections.
    Napolitano said the presidential preference primary is not, in fact, a true primary. ``The presidential preference election does not determine which candidate is placed on the general election ballot,'' she said. Rather it is to choose delegates who support a specific candidate for national nomination.
    She pointed out that parties are not required to participate in the state-run primary. In fact, the Democrats ignored the primary in 1996 and will do so again this year because the Feb. 22 date conflicts with party rules against holding a primary that early.
    Before 1996, each party operated its own selection process, whether by primary or caucus, not subject to state law.


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