Making Democracy Work

Primary Elections Study


LWVME Study -- Primary Election Systems


A Consensus Study process is a unique and defining feature of the League of Women Voters, requiring openness, curiosity, and patience to study an issue and then work as a group to find agreement when responding to the consensus questions.

This study examines the advantages and disadvantages of

  • Primaries vs caucuses
  • Open vs closed primaries, with varying degrees of openness
  • Nonpartisan primaries

This study is currently underway. Local Leagues and other members will be meeting between now and the beginning of June to study the issue and answer the consensus questions. The League board will consider whether a consensus position has been reached within a few weeks after that.

The Study Committee on Primary Elections has focused on (1) describing the evolution of Maine's current systems for candidate selection, and (2) collecting information on the strengths and weaknesses of candidate selection systems used in Maine and elsewhere. The Study Guide summarizes the salient findings from the study, provides references for additional reading, and asks local units and members-at-large to respond to a set of Consensus Questions (CQ) about Maine's current caucus/primary system and alternative systems for selecting candidates.

Primary Elections Study Guide

Here's the League Study Guide on Primary Elections.

And here are the Consensus Questions.