Welcome! In Maryland, citizens who are not affiliated with the two primary political parties are not allowed to vote in the primary elections, in spite of the fact that:
ALL CITIZENS ARE PAYING FOR THE PRIMARY ELECTION:
Maryland's primaries to elect candidates for the Republican and Democratic parties are paid for by Maryland's taxpaying citizens (more than $27 million for the 2016 primary election).
Tax-paying citizens who are not affiliated with those parties are not allowed to participate in the primary elections for legislative and political positions.
As of April 2019, 738,300 registered voters in Maryland were unaffiliated, and more than 62,000 were affiliated with other parties.
This means that more than 800,000 of Maryland's registered voters (20%) cannot vote for legislative and political candidates in the primary elections which their taxes paid for, because they chose not to affiliate with the Republican or Democratic parties.
SELECTION OFTEN TAKES PLACE IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION:
General elections are a mere formality in many districts in Maryland -- the selection of candidates happens in the primary elections.
Therefore the votes of 20% of Maryland citizens are suppressed, as they are excluded from participating fully in the selection of their representatives.
OPEN PRIMARIES LEAD TO MORE BIPARTISANSHIP:
Research indicates that candidates in closed primaries (including legislators who are running for reelection) are more likely to ignore requests from their unaffiliated constituents than candidates who run in open primaries, AND are less likely to be bipartisan in their response.