Pennsylvania’s primary election is May 18 and, third-party romantics aside, from it will be chosen the candidates who will be the people who lead this state.
A little over a million of Pennsylvania’s 8.4 million registered voters will not participate in this choice because they have registered as something other than a Republican or Democrat. Pennsylvania is one of 14 closed primary states. The actual breakdown of labels is 36,473 Libertarians; 484,597 “no affiliation”
and 490,526 “other voters.
All but two of those running for governor this year have expressed support for Pennsylvania becoming an open primary state in which one can vote in whatever party’s race regardless of what his registration happens to be.
The dissenters are State Sen. Anthony Williams, a Democrat who represents the 8th District that includes a large part of Delaware County and state Rep. Sam Rohrer, a Republican who represents the 128th District in Berks County.
Williams would like to eliminate primaries altogether and just have a general election.
Rohrer would like to encourage independents to join a major party, which is a reasonable thing. If one is part of a group not choosing its candidate on primary day registering with a major party would give one two shots at how the state would be run. Ironically, Rohrer’s non-establishment campaign would likely be boosted by an open primary.
For the record, there are 4.3 million Democrats and 3.1 million Republicans in the state.