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Presidential Primary Election rules explained

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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Coming up on March 10, we have the Presidential Primary Elections.

In Idaho, political parties have their own set rules for voters in the primary election.

Political parties have the option of opening their primary elections to unaffiliated voters, meaning not affiliated with any political party, or members of other political parties. 

Registration requirements set by the Idaho Democratic and Republicans parties are different.

"Idaho's primaries, are set by the parties. So, the Republicans set the rules for the Republican primary and the Democrats set the rules for the Democratic primary," said Miranda Marquit State Committee woman for the Bonneville County Democratic Party. 

Voters want to know how their political affiliation will let them participates in the party's primary election.

"The Idaho Democratic primary for the president allows folks who are registered as Democrats or registered as unaffiliated to vote," said Marquit. 

The Democrats have a semi-open presidential primary. If you are unaffiliated or registered as a democrat you can vote. 

It's a little different for the Republican primaries. 

"In the Republican Party only registered affiliated Republican members can vote in the primaries," said Doyle Beck Legislative Chairman for Bonneville county Republicans. 

Beck says the party made the decision several years ago to only allow registered Republicans to vote in their primary election.

"Some members of other parties would choose to come over and help us elect our leaders, which is not very fair and not very honest," said Beck.

At general election time, you can vote without regard of political affiliation; but if you want to see your primary candidate have a chance come convention time, your vote in the primaries matter.

"At the local level, it really matters as far as the presidential primary goes. When you vote, your vote actually counts toward how many votes a candidate gets and how many delegates they end up with at the convention later in the year," said Marquit. 

Like Iowa and Nevada, Idaho once used a caucus system for picking a presidential candidate. 

Democrats and Republics dropped the process after the last presidential primary four years ago. 

They believe an actual vote gives citizens a more direct say in the results.

Idaho Falls / Local News / News / Politics / Top Stories
Ariel Schroeder

Ariel Schroeder

Ariel is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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