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There are 12 states with closed primaries: Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.

Closed Primary States 2024

Closed Primary States 2024


Only Democrats and Republicans can vote in either party's primary elections in Delaware. This applies whether it's a congressional, state, or presidential primary. About 25% of Delaware's registered voters are not affiliated with any of the two political parties.


Although Kansas law states that political parties can allow unaffiliated voters to participate in primaries, this rarely happens. Kansas has over 30% of voters not affiliated with a political party, meaning these voters don't participate in the Democratic, Republican, or Libertarian primaries.


As one of the closed primary states, Maine requires voters to register with the Democratic, Republican, or Green Independent party before casting a ballot in the primary election. They must remain affiliated with that party for at least three months. However, this may soon change as Maine lawmakers recently approved a bill that would allow unenrolled and independent voters to participate in primary elections.


In Florida, primary elections are only open if all the candidates have the same party affiliation and the primary election winner faces no opposition in the General elections (Universal Primary Contest). All registered voters can also vote in primary elections that involve non-partisan candidates and issues. Otherwise, you must first affiliate yourself to a party before the registration deadline if you want to vote in Florida's primary elections.


In Kentucky, voters are eligible to vote in non-partisan and judicial primaries only. Independent voters are ineligible to vote in congressional and state primaries or presidential primaries.


Nevada's federal and state primary elections are closed to those not affiliated with the Democratic or Republican parties. However, Nevada is one of those closed primary states that allow voters to participate in non-partisan primaries.

New Jersey

When registering to vote in New Jersey, residents must declare a political party affiliation to participate in local, state, and national office primary elections. However, for congressional and state primaries, independent voters can affiliate with a party at the polls.

New Mexico

New Mexico's law states that a party's primary elections are only open to its members. There are three major political parties in New Mexico: Democratic, Republican, or Libertarian. Voters registered with a minority party can't vote in any of the major party primaries.

New York

New York is one of the closed primary states that excludes non-Democrats and non-Republicans from participating in primaries. But independent, third-party and affiliated voters have the chance to change their party before a primary.


Oregon's non-affiliated and independent voters cannot cast a ballot in a party's primary elections. All registered voters can still vote on ballots that include non-partisan contests, such as judicial elections.


Pennsylvania belongs on the list of closed primary states because it has over one million unaffiliated voters that can't participate in local, state, and federal primaries.


Wyoming gives unaffiliated voters the chance to register with a party at the polls on the primary election day if they wish to participate. Therefore, while Wyoming is sometimes considered a closed primary state, it actually has a partially open primary system.


Independent voters in Maryland can only vote in non-partisan races. That is 25% of the population in each county located in Maryland.

Closed Primary States 2024

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