Primary election

election that narrows the field of candidates before an election for office
(Redirected from Primary)

A primary election is an election in which people in a political party can choose their party's candidate for a future general election.

They are used in many places in the world. It started in the United States during the progressive movement. People tried to take the power of picking a candidate away from party leaders.[1]



There are two general types of primary elections:

  • Closed primary,[2] where only people in the party can vote.
  • Open primary,[3] where anyone can vote in the primary.


  1. Smith, Kevin B. (2011). Governing States and Localities. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. pp. 189–190. ISBN 978-1-60426-728-0.
  2. "Closed Primary Election Law & Legal Definition". Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  3. "Open Primary Law & Legal Definition". Retrieved 2012-11-07.