BRIAN PERRY / Choosing primaries

Mississippi’s open primary systems essentially allows any registered voter to determine on the day of the election which party they belong to at that moment and to participate accordingly. I’ve never considered myself at any moment in time a Democrat. But I welcome Democrats to try on the Republican moniker, even just for a day, and see how it feels. They might determine it feels pretty good and join the party of conservatives in Mississippi. That’s how Mississippi became Republican.

Twenty years ago the Mississippi Republican Party adopted a plan for party growth around the primary system. By recruiting specific candidates who could win in counties where Democrats were in control, and by sometimes recruiting multiple candidates to create a primary in the county, voters had to make a choice. As more voters decided they would vote in the Republican Party because of candidates and offices they cared about, more candidates began qualifying as Republicans. Then – thanks first by the politics of President Bill Clinton but more recently by the politics of President Barack Obama – came the party switchers. Some counties would have multiple officials switch simultaneously from Democrat to Republican shifting hundreds or thousands of voters’ preferences from one primary to another.

Madison County Journal