Repeal Closed Primaries

This spring, Pennsylvania's voters will head to the polls for the Commonwealth's primary elections.

But not everyone is included in this process. That’s because primaries are closed in Pennsylvania.  More than 1.1 million taxpaying Independents are denied their right to vote in these elections, despite paying their share of $20 million a year to fund them.

It’s time to #RepealClosedPrimaries. That’s why Ballot PA has created a petition of our own - and anyone can sign it.

74% of Pennsylvanians support repealing closed primaries - including strong majorities of Independents, Democrats, and Republicans.

Repealing closed primaries would guarantee a more fair process, increase the competitiveness of races, and help limit the amount of extremism and gridlock on both sides.

It is time to #RepealClosedPrimaries and allow every legally registered voter to cast a ballot in PA’s primary. 

Legislators across the Commonwealth can change this unfair election practice by acting now to ensure voters their right to vote in PA primaries. 

Representation for all taxpayers is critical to voting and no political party stands to gain more than the other, with registered Independent voters split evenly in their choice of candidates . Instead, what we truly gain by repealing closed primaries is a fairer democracy.

Join the overwhelming majority of PA voters in favor of ending closed primaries in PA –  #RepealClosedPrimaries now.


Ballot PA is a project of the Committee of Seventy and is a growing coalition of civic, community and business organizations committed to open and free elections in Pennsylvania that lead to responsive and accountable government.


Who's signing

Steve Teufel
Linda Connor
Thomas Connor
Karen Chesbro
Dina Taylor
Richard Ringer
Robert Marino
Patrick Witmer
Mark Orr
Joe Pessin
Chris Cera
Janice Lambert
Larry Pritt
Richard Fisher
Daniel Dierksheide
Maxwell Segale
Anna Nave
Francis Clauss
Heather Stay
Maxwell Anselm
Randolph Mahl
Debbie Raffensberger
David Shomper
Jennifer Shepherd
Ryan Weaver
Norman Haase
Joanne Solliday
Cheryl Aubrey
James Hoffman
Robert Swift
2,481 signatures

Will you sign?

  • Steve Teufel
    signed 2022-05-11 09:06:54 -0400
  • Linda Connor
    signed 2022-05-11 09:06:53 -0400
  • Thomas Connor
    signed 2022-05-11 09:02:47 -0400
  • Karen Chesbro
    signed 2022-05-11 08:28:29 -0400
  • Dina Taylor
    signed 2022-05-11 08:14:52 -0400
  • Richard Ringer
    signed 2022-05-11 08:01:56 -0400
    I am the Democratic candidate to represent the 51st District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Every person’s vote should count, and I support making voting easier for everyone, no matter their political ideology.
  • Robert Marino
    signed 2022-05-11 06:29:00 -0400
  • Patrick Witmer
    signed 2022-05-11 00:03:42 -0400
  • Mark Orr
    signed 2022-05-10 23:42:51 -0400
  • Joe Pessin
    signed via 2022-05-10 22:43:59 -0400
    How the “open” system is to function is as important to improving our elections as is repealing the current closed system.

    Beyond that we need to have singular cross party primaries where all party candidate are in a single ballot for anyone to vote for.

    Allowing independents to vote is generally a good thing (I only party affiliate to vote against a candidate in the primary) but making them choose which party primary to participate is not.

    Then we should be using a Conorcet system of tabulation (form of ranked choice) to send all that received greater than 20% to the general election.

    Other forms of ranked choice have issues which eliminate more popular candidates earlier in the process

    The problem with the open binary primary where independents or anyone can vote for either (but not both) slate of party (Democrat or Republican -ignoring minor parties) as I understand it is as follows:

    Let’s say each party has an extremist and a more moderate candidate. Let’s assume in general, the independents will favor one of the two moderate candidates from either party. Lets’ say in one, the Democrats, it looks like the moderate candidate is going to win comfortably. People who favor that candidate may feel it is to their advantage to vote for the Republican slate of primary candidates and vote for the extremist thinking it will help their candidate in the general election. Simply put there is too much incentive for people to play games and try to trick the system.

    The best way I have seen to avoid that is a ranked choice single primary system where the winners are chosen using a Condorcet method.
  • Chris Cera
    signed 2022-05-10 21:15:19 -0400
  • Janice Lambert
    signed 2022-05-10 20:33:00 -0400
  • Larry Pritt
    signed 2022-05-10 20:25:59 -0400
  • Richard Fisher
    signed via 2022-05-10 19:59:26 -0400
  • Daniel Dierksheide
    signed 2022-05-10 19:46:25 -0400
  • Maxwell Segale
    signed 2022-05-10 19:20:03 -0400
    I would like to participate in the primary election
  • Anna Nave
    signed 2022-05-10 19:19:07 -0400
  • Francis Clauss
    signed 2022-05-10 19:13:45 -0400
  • Heather Stay
    signed 2022-05-10 19:03:07 -0400
  • Maxwell Anselm
    signed 2022-05-10 18:59:08 -0400
    No taxation without representation.
  • Randolph Mahl
    signed 2022-05-10 18:05:17 -0400
  • Debbie Raffensberger
    signed via 2022-05-10 17:12:09 -0400
  • David Shomper
    signed 2022-05-10 17:02:02 -0400
  • Jennifer Shepherd
    signed via 2022-05-10 16:49:35 -0400
  • Ryan Weaver
    signed 2022-05-10 16:43:22 -0400
    I support open primaries for all PA voters.
  • Norman Haase
    signed via 2022-05-10 16:29:55 -0400
  • Joanne Solliday
    signed 2022-05-10 15:57:49 -0400
  • Cheryl Aubrey
    signed 2022-05-10 15:43:13 -0400
  • James Hoffman
    signed 2022-05-10 15:22:49 -0400
    I 100% urge this to be passed as quickly as possible.
  • Robert Swift
    signed 2022-05-10 15:16:29 -0400