Opinion

Even "Closed Primary" has privacy issues

I thought I had discovered everything I disliked about the Closed Republican Primary until today when I went to vote in my Boise precinct. When one comes in to vote, he/she must declare what ballot they desire — in clear earshot of anyone in the room.

The proponents of closed primaries speak out of both sides of their mouths: demanding that voters profess some kind of loyalty on the one hand by forcing them to register as Republicans — while compromising their partisan voting privacy on the other. Democrats don't require this.

For me it was of little consequence because I knew going in I was going to be using the very brief "Non-Partisan" ballot. I am registered only as "Unaffiliated." But it is very easy in a polling place to be able to hear and see what kind of ballot fellow voters have requested.

I actually heard during one of the televised Secretary of State debates where one of the GOP candidates did not like some of the other forms of voting (by mail) because there was a possibility of compromising privacy.

In this system, you must ask aloud for a Democrat, Republican or Non-Partisan ballot. When you are finished filling it out one of the polling persons shouts out your name confirming that you have voted.

Though no one gets to see your ballot, they certainly can tell what party or persuasion you are. That is not my definition of privacy.

If all of the candidates names from all parties were in your ballot packet you could choose your political party in private.

Seems to me this could be accomplished even in a primary. Here's hoping that the GOP reconsiders this closed system.

Let us know what you think.

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