AP: Rhode Island Republicans vote to keep 2012 primary openNovember 17th, 2011 at 10:08 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Republicans have failed to settle an argument over whether party primaries should be open to all-comers rather than be closed to Republicans only.
The Providence Journal reports that a majority of those attending a state Republican Party meeting Wednesday supported a change that would have required voters in GOP primaries to register ahead of time. But the measure needed two-thirds support and failed.
The proposed change won 108 votes requiring people to be registered GOP members at least 90 days before a primary to vote. Eighty votes opposed it.
Supporters say a change would have helped the party define itself and choose its own path by limiting involvement from voters who are not Republicans.
Opponents said the change would disenfranchise potential GOP supporters.
At the same meeting, former Gov. Donald L. Carcieri said he will not challenge Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse next year, saying he loved being governor but doesn’t believe the Senate would suit him.
Barry Hinckley, co-founder of a Boston-based software firm who moved to Newport in 2006, is so far the only Republican challenger to Whitehouse, a Democrat and the state’s junior senator.
• Related: Republican Party chair McKay to campaign against closing primary (Aug. 22)