Every primary election, we hear complaints from family and friends about the fact that they have to ask an election judge for a Democratic, Republican, or Green party ballot.
Some other states do run primary elections differently. We’ve compiled a breakdown for you below.
Open Primary: A voter can privately choose any party’s ballot to vote on. There is no need to register with a political party beforehand.
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
Partially Open: A voter can choose any party’s ballot to vote on, but must publicly declare which party’s ballot they want.
Closed Primary: A voter must register with a political party before voting on that party’s primary ballot. Independent, or unaffiliated voters, are excluded from voting.
- New Mexico
- New York
Top-Two Primary: The “top two” format uses a common ballot, listing all candidates on the same ballot. The top two vote getters in each race, regardless of party, advance to the general election. Top-two, nonpartisan blanket, jungle primary are used interchangeably.
- Nebraska (for nonpartisan legislative races only)
**In the case of Louisiana — all candidates run in the general election, if a candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, they win outright. If no candidate receives 50 percent in the general, then the top two vote getters compete in a runoff election.