- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Republican Party says it will not open its primary elections to independent voters.

Democrats had previously announced that they would let independent voters take part in their primaries and the GOP had said it had no intention to follow suit. The state GOP made it official Tuesday in a letter to the state’s Election Board secretary.

Party chairman Pam Pollard said the party believed that only Republicans should pick Republican candidates.

As of last month, Oklahoma had 261,199 registered independent voters, or about 13 percent of the state’s 1.9 million registered voters.

Oklahoma’s next statewide election is March 1 - the presidential preferential primary. Oklahoma and Tulsa counties each local special elections that day.

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