There only is one issue, if it can be called that, on which both "major" parties agree: make matters as difficult as possible for another party to obtain equal status, especially access to placement on the ballots. The individual parties are not named in Indiana statutes that regulate primaries. The parties do not have to be named. There have been other parties, always - as long as I can remember, and from what I have read - called "third" parties. Occasionally a candidate for (what usually is not a major) office from such a party will draw a respectable number of votes. Rarely, a third-party candidate will win. The reality is that the two major parties hold the lock and all sets of keys to the system . . .
The two "major" political parties have used (or some would say "abused") the mechanisms of government to preserve their forms and dominance, and advance their interests, by statute. . . . The two parties control the basic structure of the election process . . . These statutes were enacted by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor. The majorities in both houses and the governor were Democrats and Republicans. It is reasonable to infer the legislation in which they take the keenest interest and upon which their political lives depend - that encompassing election laws - was drawn in such a way as to give their parties control . . . A voter otherwise eligible should be able to vote in the primary election of either party for several reasons.The whole article is well worth a read. The piece contains a number of fascinating tidbits. For instance, in Indiana, any poll worker or voter may challenge any other voter's right to cast a ballot in a party primary. Excerpt:
I.C. 3-10-1-6 allows a person to vote in a primary election for a specific party - Voter only can vote in one party's primary or the other - if the person is listed in the poll books for that precinct. There is a record of the party for which the person voted in the previous primary. But Voted can ask for a ballot in the other party's primary. It has been my experience that the poll workers ask a person "What ballot do you want?" I never have been asked a variation of "You have voted Democrat in the past. Is that the ballot you want?" I.C. 3-10-1-9 allows for Voter to be challenged at the primary. "A voter in a precinct may challenge a voter or person who offers to vote at a primary election. The challenged person may not vote unless the person (1) is registered; (2) makes: (A) an oral or written affirmation under IC 3-10-12; or (B) an affidavit ... (3) at the last general election voted for a majority of the regular nominees of the political parties for whose candidates the challenged person proposes to vote in the primary election and intends to vote for the regular nominees of the political party at the next general election; or (B) if the challenged voter did not vote at the last general election, intends to vote at the next general election for a majority of the regular nominees of the political party holding the primary election."Are there such laws on the books in any other states?