State congressional elections to return to open primary in 2012

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana will return to what is often called an "open primary" system for congressional elections in 2012.

The state Senate gave final approval to a bill Wednesday night that will again put all candidates for U.S. House and Senate seats on the same ballot regardless of party. It's the system still used in all other Louisiana elections.

In 2008, the state went to closed party primaries for congressional races. Closed primaries will continue in this year's congressional races. But, in 2012, the open, non-partisan elections will return.

Supporters of switching back say the move will save the state $6.6 million every two years and end a confusing system that runs different primaries for state and federal elections.

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