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Senate moves to let unaffiliated people cast primary votes

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania voters who aren’t registered as members of a political party would have the option of participating in primary elections under a measure advanced this week by the state Senate.

Senators voted 42 to 8 on Tuesday for a bill that would permit those unaffiliated voters to decide which major party primary they want to cast their ballot in.

Supporters say it’s a way to give nearly 800,000 unaffiliated voters a say in picking candidates for the November election.

The number of unaffiliated voters in the state has risen 75% in eight years, part of a national trend that’s led to pressure to open up primaries.

Pennsylvania’s system of closed primaries dates back at least to 1937.

The bill was sent to the state House.