State of Colorado

Colorado Primary System Challenge

PARABLE v. Griswold

Lawsuit filed on behalf of the organization PARABLE (People for Association Rights and Bi-Partisan Limited Elections) and Republican Colorado voters challenging the state’s open primary election system, which allows unaffiliated voters to cast a ballot in any party’s primary. The lawsuit alleges that this system violates the First Amendment rights to free speech and association, including the “right of political parties to choose their nominees for office without interference by those who are not members of the party and have chosen not to affiliate with the party.” The plaintiffs also allege that their votes are diluted and they are not afforded equal protection in violation of the 14th Amendment. The lawsuit asks the court to block the open primary system for future elections and allow “major political parties [to] have the authority to limit the primary election for choosing their nominees to eligible voters who have chosen to affiliate with that party.” The court dismissed the case after finding the plaintiffs lacked standing and could not challenge the open primary system in the name of the Colorado Republican Party (which is not involved in this lawsuit).

Case Documents

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