New Mexico’s top court reconsiders closed primary system

stockimg; voter at poll booth

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The New Mexico Supreme Court is considering a challenge of the state’s closed primary system by an independent voter who alleges violations of his constitutional right to participate in all public elections.

Justices heard oral arguments Monday in a lawsuit brought by Albuquerque attorney David Crum against state and Bernalillo County elections officials. A decision will be reached later.

Currently, only Republicans and Democrats can vote in their respective primary elections in New Mexico. Critics of the closed system say it effectively disenfranchises independent and small party voters, while supporters say it ensures distinct ideological choices in general elections.

A district court dismissed the lawsuit by Crum after the New Mexico Republican Party objected to interference with its rights to political association.

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