Some GOP state legislators, unhappy at the prospect of Democrats and independents changing party affiliation to vote in the Republican primary, want to tighten restrictions even further (“Should voters stay put after switching parties in a primary?” June 4).
Speaking as a long-registered Republican, I am all in favor of primary integrity. I certainly don’t condone “party raiding,” in which members of one party vote for the other party’s weakest candidate to make it easier for their nominee to win.
But that is not what Democrats and independents are after in the 2020 gubernatorial race. What is happening now is the natural consequence of the state GOP’s own efforts to create a de facto single-party state. Gerrymandering and calculated polarization have taken their toll. Utah’s registered Democratic and independent voters (825,000) outnumber Republicans (817,000), yet Republicans dominate every level of state government. Party leaders afraid of allowing half the electorate to be represented would do well to remember that monoliths have an annoying tendency to crack.
When only the Republican can win, it is hard to fault Utah Democrats and independents for wanting to have a vote.