NM Democrats, GOP Urged To Adopt Open Primaries

Apr 25, 2013

An independent think tank wants New Mexico's political parties to adopt rules allowing unaffiliated voters to participate in primary elections.

Think New Mexico Executive Director Fred Nathan made the request in a letter Wednesday to leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties.

Nathan contends election turnout will increase if independent voters, who are unaffiliated with a political party, can cast ballots in 2014 primary contests.

About 18 percent of the state's registered voters are independents.

GOP Chairmen John Billingsley said the request will be reviewed but "the idea of open primaries allows for outside groups to organize and disrupt the party's primary process."

Democratic Party Executive Director Scott Forrester said the proposal will be considered over the next year. It would need to gain approval at a state convention.