States with Open Primaries

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Table

Introduction

The US electoral system uses three different types of primary elections: open, closed, and semi-closed primaries. Open primaries are those in which any registered voter can vote for the candidates of any political party in the state. In a closed primary, however, only registered members of the political party whose primary is being held can participate in voting. Lastly, semi-closed primaries are those in which independent or unaffiliated voters may vote only for non-partisan races or nonpartisan candidates but not for partisan candidates or parties. These primary elections are important to determine who will eventually be on the ballot during the general election. Each type of primary has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the state’s laws. For instance, open primaries might give more power to those who favor one particular party over another, while closed primaries could create a sense of disenfranchisement among some groups due to having to register with a particular party before being able to participate in voting.

StatePrimary Election TypeRed or Blue State
DelawareClosed Primaries Democrat
FloridaClosed Primaries Swing State
KentuckyClosed Primaries Republican
MarylandClosed Primaries Democrat
NebraskaClosed Primaries Republican
NevadaClosed Primaries Swing State
New MexicoClosed Primaries Democrat
New YorkClosed Primaries Democrat
OregonClosed Primaries Democrat
PennsylvaniaClosed Primaries Swing State
LouisianaNo Primaries Republican
AlabamaOpen Primaries Republican
ArkansasOpen Primaries Republican
GeorgiaOpen Primaries Swing State
HawaiiOpen Primaries Democrat
MichiganOpen Primaries Swing State
MinnesotaOpen Primaries Swing State
MississippiOpen Primaries Republican
MissouriOpen Primaries Republican
MontanaOpen Primaries Republican
North DakotaOpen Primaries Republican
South CarolinaOpen Primaries Republican
TexasOpen Primaries Republican
VermontOpen Primaries Democrat
VirginiaOpen Primaries Democrat
WisconsinOpen Primaries Swing State
ArizonaOpen to Unaffiliated Voters Swing State
ColoradoOpen to Unaffiliated Voters Democrat
KansasOpen to Unaffiliated Voters Republican
MaineOpen to Unaffiliated Voters Democrat
MassachusettsOpen to Unaffiliated Voters Democrat
New HampshireOpen to Unaffiliated Voters Democrat
New JerseyOpen to Unaffiliated Voters Democrat
Rhode IslandOpen to Unaffiliated Voters Democrat
West VirginiaOpen to Unaffiliated Voters Republican
ConnecticutPartially Closed Democrat
IdahoPartially Closed Republican
North CarolinaPartially Closed Swing State
OklahomaPartially Closed Republican
South DakotaPartially Closed Republican
UtahPartially Closed Republican
IllinoisPartially Open Democrat
IndianaPartially Open Republican
IowaPartially Open Republican
OhioPartially Open Swing State
TennesseePartially Open Republican
WyomingPartially Open Republican
AlaskaTop-Four Republican
CaliforniaTop-Two Democrat
WashingtonTop-Two Democrat

Primary Election Type by State

Alabama

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Alaska

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Primary Election Type

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Top-Four

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Arizona

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Primary Election Type

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Open to Unaffiliated Voters

Red or Blue State

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Swing State

Arkansas

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Republican

California

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Primary Election Type

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Top-Two

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

Colorado

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Primary Election Type

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Open to Unaffiliated Voters

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

Connecticut

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Primary Election Type

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Partially Closed

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

Delaware

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Primary Election Type

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Closed Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

Florida

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Primary Election Type

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Closed Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Swing State

Georgia

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Swing State

Hawaii

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

Idaho

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Primary Election Type

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Partially Closed

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Illinois

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Primary Election Type

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Partially Open

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

Indiana

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Primary Election Type

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Partially Open

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Iowa

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Primary Election Type

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Partially Open

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Kansas

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Primary Election Type

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Open to Unaffiliated Voters

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Kentucky

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Primary Election Type

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Closed Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Louisiana

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Primary Election Type

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No Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Maine

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Primary Election Type

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Open to Unaffiliated Voters

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

Maryland

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Primary Election Type

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Closed Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

Massachusetts

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Primary Election Type

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Open to Unaffiliated Voters

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

Michigan

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Swing State

Minnesota

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Swing State

Mississippi

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Missouri

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Montana

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Nebraska

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Primary Election Type

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Closed Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Nevada

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Primary Election Type

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Closed Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Swing State

New Hampshire

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Primary Election Type

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Open to Unaffiliated Voters

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

New Jersey

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Primary Election Type

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Open to Unaffiliated Voters

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

New Mexico

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Primary Election Type

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Closed Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

New York

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Primary Election Type

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Closed Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

North Carolina

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Primary Election Type

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Partially Closed

Red or Blue State

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Swing State

North Dakota

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Ohio

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Primary Election Type

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Partially Open

Red or Blue State

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Swing State

Oklahoma

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Primary Election Type

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Partially Closed

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Oregon

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Primary Election Type

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Closed Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

Pennsylvania

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Primary Election Type

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Closed Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Swing State

Rhode Island

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Primary Election Type

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Open to Unaffiliated Voters

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

South Carolina

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Republican

South Dakota

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Primary Election Type

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Partially Closed

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Tennessee

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Primary Election Type

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Partially Open

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Texas

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Utah

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Primary Election Type

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Partially Closed

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Vermont

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

Virginia

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

Washington

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Primary Election Type

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Top-Two

Red or Blue State

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Democrat

West Virginia

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Primary Election Type

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Open to Unaffiliated Voters

Red or Blue State

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Republican

Wisconsin

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Primary Election Type

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Open Primaries

Red or Blue State

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Swing State

Wyoming

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Primary Election Type

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Partially Open

Red or Blue State

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Republican

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