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Arizona Democrats debate opening primary to independents

Posted at 1:20 PM, Sep 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-20 16:20:16-04

PHOENIX (AP) - A group of independents is making a longshot push to convince the Arizona Democratic Party to open its presidential primary to voters who decline to join a political party.

Party activists are expected to debate the issue at a meeting in Prescott on Saturday.

Supporters say independent voters in a democracy shouldn't be excluded from a crucial step in selecting the president. But many Democrats are uneasy about giving power over their party's nominee to people who've chosen not to be Democrats. Some worry it would allow supporters of President Donald Trump to help choose his 2020 opponent.

Arizona law restricts presidential preference elections to members of political parties, but supporters of an open primary say that law is unconstitutional and would be quickly struck down if Democrats challenged it.