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Politics and Government

Oklahoma Democratic Leaders Consider Opening Primaries To Independent Voters

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With the number of registered independents on the rise in Oklahoma, the state Democratic Party is considering whether to open its traditionally closed primaries to independent voters.

New Democratic Party Chairman Mark Hammons says the proposal will be considered when the state party convention reconvenes on July 25 in Oklahoma City.

Hammons says the Democratic Party wants to focus on issues that matter to Oklahomans, regardless of party, and provide more opportunities for citizens to be active and involved in politics.

Oklahoma has traditionally had a closed-primary system, where only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote in their respective primaries.

Registered independents are the fastest growing group in the state, increasing from about 8 percent in 2000 to more than 10 percent in 2005 to 13 percent this year.

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