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UCO Debate Examines Impact of Oklahoma's Closed Primary System

Oct. 17, 2013

Media Contact: Lindsay Houts, Staff Writer, University Relations, University of Central Oklahoma, 405-974-2121,


In partnership with the University of Central Oklahoma Department of Political Science and the American Democracy Project, Central’s award-winning debate team will debate open and closed primary voting at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Pegasus Theater of the Liberal Arts Building on Central’s campus.

Austin Vance, a senior business major, and Greg Munday, a junior political science major, will examine the differences between open and closed primary election systems and assess which system best presents democratic values.

A closed primary, like Oklahoma’s, requires a voter to be registered as a Democrat or Republican in order to participate in the party's primary and does not allow Independents to participate at all. Open primaries allow a registered voter to choose which party's primary he or she wishes to participate in.

“This debate will help attendees understand how and why the primary system in Oklahoma is designed and its effects on politics,” said Matthew Moore, director of debate at Central.

Central is home to a nationally competitive debate program. The program travels students to approximately 15 tournaments throughout the school year.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Overman, Ph.D., professor of political science, at 405-974-5530 or