After nearly three hours of comment and debate, Montana Republicans voted overwhelmingly Saturday to join a lawsuit seeking to limit their primary elections to those registered with the GOP. The Republican State Central Committee approved the motion by an 83-43 vote in Helena. They will join a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court against the state and its open primaries. Filed by attorney and Rep. Matthew Monforton of Bozeman in September, the suit includes 10 Republican county central committees. It asks a federal judge to strike down as unconstitutional Montana laws allowing any registered voter to participate in any party primary.
Many Republicans said at the meeting closed primaries are needed because people not in their party have been voting in their primaries and influencing election outcomes for years.
As an example, Monforton pointed to a recent vote in the state House of Representatives in which some Republicans voted to support an amendment to House procedural rules brought to the floor by a Democrat.
“On Thursday we found out on the House floor that 11 of the Republicans, so-called Republicans, can be counted on to vote against every major Republican bill that comes forward,” he said. “We don’t really have a majority in the House.”
Full Article: Montana GOP votes to join lawsuit closing primaries – SFGate.