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Election group organizes to push for open primary voting

RAPID CITY, SD – An election reform organization called ‘South Dakota Open Primaries’ is pushing for a constitutional amendment to allow people to vote across party lines during the state’s primary elections.

This would apply to federal, state, legislative and county races.

Chairman Joe Kirby said that the current system encourages candidates to appeal to the most extreme parts of their bases.

According to Kirby, ”The new system would encourage candidates instead to appeal to a broad base of voters,” Kirby said. “You might end up with the same people winning, he said, but it would force candidates to address a broader base of voter.”

The proposed system is what’s known as a ‘top two’ system, which allows all candidates to run in a primary, and then the two candidates with the most votes square off in the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

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Stu Whitney / South Dakota News Watch

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