RI GOP leaders advance closed primary plan

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Republican leaders are advancing a plan to close their primary to unaffiliated voters.

The party’s executive committee voted Tuesday to bring the proposal to its statewide members in a special meeting on Jan. 19. Supporters of the change say that timetable would allow the change this year.

But GOP chairman Giovanni Cicione (chih-chee-OHN’) is the only person who can schedule such a meeting and says he’s not inclined to do anything before February. He says the party should take its time with such a serious change.

Under current rules, unaffiliated voters can decide on primary day to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary. The proposal would require that primary voters register as a Republican 90 days before the election.