Can independent voters vote in the presidential primary? In Pennsylvania, that answer is no. Although nine other states allow registered independents to cast a ballot, only the Democratic and Republican parties allow independents to vote. That leaves a huge number of independent voters unable to participate in these elections. Jennifer Bullock, the chair of the Independent Pennsylvanians, said this decision was extremely painful. She believes Pennsylvania should be an open and inclusive state that allows independents to vote in its primary elections.
Some states have a mixed primary, which allows independents to participate in a primary run by either party. Normally, only registered voters in each party can vote in a mixed primary. This system is becoming more common as independent voters continue to find out how to vote in primary elections. However, it is important to note that you cannot vote in a mixed primary in California if you are registered with both parties. In the meantime, you can still register as an independent and participate in the party’s primary, but you must remain registered with that party.
While the Independence Party allowed independent voters to vote in their 2003 primary, a US District Judge disapproved of this measure because it would have constituted a violation of the Constitution. However, the US Supreme Court has since affirmed that parties are entitled to determine who gets to vote in their primary elections. As a result, many states have passed laws allowing independents to participate in party primary elections. However, while these laws are largely limited in number, they are widespread nationwide. In addition to New York City, Minneapolis and Jacksonville are the two states with the most nonpartisan primary systems.