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MAGA Republicans Demand Closed Primaries In Georgia After Trump Candidates Lose

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Donald Trump loses Georgia primaries

Donald Trump allies in Georgia are calling for abolishing the state’s open primary system, complaining that too many Democrats crossed over to vote in the state’s GOP primary against candidates endorsed by the former president.

That call to close primaries comes after the five statewide GOP incumbents whom Trump had targeted for defeat — including Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — ended up winning their primary elections, The Associated Press reports.

Kemp won the Republican nomination for a second term, turning back a Trump-fueled primary challenge and delivering the former president his biggest electoral setback of the 2022 primaries. His landslide victory over challenger David perdue represented a resounding rebuke of Trump, who had made defeating Kemp a top priority.

Meanwhile, Raffensperger cleared the 50% threshold required to avoid a runoff election against U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, his Trump-backed challenger.

As noted by the AP, “the proposal is likely to face heavy opposition, with top Republicans and Democrats signaling Monday that they see no reason to change Georgia’s open primary system. Like 14 other states, Georgia does not register voters by party. Voters can choose which primary to take part in as they walk up to the polls and switch back-and-forth in subsequent elections without changing their registration.”

Raffensperger’s campaign has pushed back on the idea that he won the GOP primary because of Democrats, suggesting that a number of crossover voters were actually Republicans who voted Democratic in recent years to protest Trump.

John Opdycke, president of the group Open Primaries, disagreed with claims that it’s illegitimate for voters to switch between party primaries. He said that a system of party registration can leave fast-growing independents as “second-class citizens” unable to influence who wins office in areas controlled by one party

“Georgia doesn’t have Democrats and Republicans, it has voters,” Opdycke said. “Voters are free by law to vote in any primary they see fit.

Read more at The Associated Press.