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Alabama open primaries: " just a happenstance of history"

The Anniston Star reports: Primary elections are a longstanding tradition in Alabama politics. Though the political arena has changed dramatically since the days of the South's one-party system, the open primary election system in Alabama has yet to evolve.

Bill Armistead, the chairman of Alabama's Republican Party, has said he would like the state to require voters to register as party members in order to vote in primary elections here. He repeated those calls this week after U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran fought off a primary challenge from Chris McDaniel in a runoff election Tuesday, reportedly with the help of Democratic voters.

Some political scientists and election reform advocates agree that the current system may not be the best available, but settling on an alternative may not be easy.

"The main reason we have the system we do cannot be expressed or articulated in rational or ideological terms," said Glen Browder, professor emeritus of American democracy and political science at Jacksonville State University. "It's just a happenstance as a result of history." -- History defines Alabama's open primaries - The Anniston Star: News

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