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Given allegations of Democrat crossover voting in last month's Republican primary, some Republicans suggest the legislature consider a law that would create a closed primary system for how the political parties determine their general election nominee.

One of the early backers is Michael Hoyt, the chairman of the Republican Party in Baldwin County, one of the state's reddest counties.

During an interview that aired on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," Hoyt said Republicans should choose their nominee.

"Principally, I would be in favor of having a closed primary," Hoyt said. "I think the party and members of the party should choose who their nominees are. And that shouldn't be people for Democrats, for Libertarians, or whatever coming over."

Despite candidates raising the issue of crossover voting around Alabama, Hoyt said he did not think it was an issue in Baldwin County.

"Now, practically speaking, at least in Baldwin County, if you look back, say at the last couple of primaries, and even look in the general election, the number of straight-Democratic Party votes or those who vote for Democratic Party candidates, I don't think in Baldwin County, Jeff, there are enough numbers there to move the needle," said Hoyt. "If you look at some of the local races, there were more undervotes to the tune of five or six thousand for some of the county commission races. There are more undervotes than there were Democrats who voted, period. So, I just don't think that's an issue."

Hoyt said he anticipated the Alabama Republican Party to take a look at a closed primary system in its summer meeting later this year.

"[I] support having a closed primary system, and I suspect that that's something that will be addressed by the state party, perhaps even at the summer meeting this year, and certainly be taken up by the legislature," Hoyt said. "When you're in an essentially one-party state, and they know the election is determined by the primary, you have to be careful of who is even running in those races, and we certainly don't want Democrats coming in and voting in them. So, I agree with [that] 100%."

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.

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