A bill that would prevent voters from switching political parties after the filing deadline for candidates is on its way to the governor. The Senate voted 27-12 on Wednesday to approve the bill; the House approved it last year. House Bill 2210 would prevent voters who have a party affiliation from switching after the June 1 filing deadline until after primary results are certified in August. It would allow unaffiliated voters to change registration. Current law allows voters to change parties up to two weeks before the primary election. During the primary, voters affiliated with a party select one candidate from the party in each race to advance to the general election.
Republican supporters say the bill would protect the integrity of primary elections. They say the bill is meant to prevent the manipulation of primary elections by political advocacy groups that encourage members to switch parties.
Democrats say it is an attempt by incumbent Republicans to prevent future primary challengers from succeeding. Opponents also say voters should have the right to switch parties if they want to support a candidate who belongs to another party.