Unaffiliated Voters and Crossover Voting in Semi-Closed Primaries: The Case of Rhode Island


A significant number of voters in Rhode Island engage in the costly practice of changing party registration after voting in primaries in order to maintain unaffiliated registration. I theorize that the semi-closed election laws of the state motivate this behavior by allowing unaffiliated voters to choose either the Democratic or Republican primary and engage in crossover voting. Voters who switch party registration post-primary routinely engage in crossover voting. In the state, these voters reside in municipalities where access to both party primaries is valuable.



Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting and Discussion Policy [opens in a new tab] – please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .