Judge rebuffs GOP; rules SC primaries remain open

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by Republicans who wanted to challenge South Carolina laws that allow citizens to vote in any primary without being a member of that political party.

U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs ruled Wednesday that if Republicans don't like open primaries, they have other methods to choose their nominees, like state conventions or petitions.

The GOP argued 25 other states require voters to register with a party before a primary. Republicans say open primaries allow party outsiders too much power.

A group of independent voters, tea party members and black lawmakers joined the state in fighting the lawsuit.

IndependentVoting.org lawyer Harry Kresky says the ruling is great for all South Carolina voters because primaries are often the decisive elections in this very Republican state.

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