Primary elections are used by political parties in the United States to select their candidates for public office. They are typically held before the general election to determine which individuals will represent each party on the ballot.
There are two types of primary elections: closed and open. Only registered political party members can vote for candidates in a closed primary. In an open primary, any voter can participate.
In some states, a “caucus” system is used for their primary elections, where voters attend a meeting to discuss and vote for candidates. In other states, secret ballots are used, and the winner is decided by the popular vote.
The primary process ensures that the party’s voters can choose a party’s nominee rather than the general electorate. The primary winner is then the party’s nominee in the general election.