Chester County’s Alan Novak an Advocate of Opening Primaries to Independent Voters

Image of Alan Novak, center, via the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.

Alan Novak, the West Bradford native who was chairman of Pennsylvania’s Republican Party for eight years, is an advocate of opening primaries to independent voters, writes Elizabeth Hardison for the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.

The state’s election law prevents independent voters from participating in primaries. But a bill sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati may change that.

Novak, a graduate of Downingtown High School, was not originally behind the idea. During his years as head of the state’s Republican Party, he believed voters should not participate in primaries unless they were registered members of that party.

However, during a Senate committee hearing earlier this week, he said that open primaries would encourage more Pennsylvanians to vote, leading to more competitive elections.

Novak also said that independent voters are already important. In Chester County, 42 percent of voters are registered Republicans and 39 percent are registered Democrats. The remaining 20 percent can sway a tight general election, yet they get no say in who is on the ballot.

“I think candidates and parties will be better the sooner they have to focus their message and their outreach to a general election audience,” he said.

Read more about Alan Novak advocating for opening primaries in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star here.

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