Tuesday letters: Party primaries restrict voters

June 10, 2014 

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GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com Buy Photo

— Today I once again face the voter’s dilemma: Do I vote in the Republican primary and abandon the Democrats I support, or do I vote in the Democratic primary and abandon the Republicans I support? Or, in protest, do I not vote at all?

There’s something inherently wrong with this process. These primaries are paid for by taxpayer money. Instead of “party primaries,” they should be called “voter primaries.” Yet as a registered voter for more than 50 years, I am denied the right to vote for whomever I wish because of this artificial, party-based structure.

This restriction seems contrary to the effort over decades to remove barriers that deny or restrict legal citizens’ right to vote.

Voting is about the right to choose. And nothing should be allowed to abridge that right. It appears that yet another barrier is due for elimination — the political party barrier.

W.R. Thomas

Columbia

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