In a ruling Monday, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Wallace Tashima upheld Hawaii’s open primary elections that allow registered voters to choose any party’s ballot to cast their votes, the Associated Press reported.

The Hawaii Democratic Party had wanted to limit primary elections to voters who have declared their allegiance to the party so as to prevent Republicans or others from casting ballots for Democrats in an attempt to sway which candidate gets chosen.

Democratic Party of Hawaii office Ward Avenue.

The Democratic Party of Hawaii, with offices on Ward Avenue in Honolulu, is $14,600 in the red.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

But Tashima said the Democratic Party failed to provide evidence of a “clear and present danger” demonstrating how Hawaii’s system affects the party’s ability to select its nominees.

The Democratic Party of Hawaii sued the state Office of Elections in 2013, seeking to limit participation in the Democratic primary election to registered Democrats only, the Hawaii Attorney General’s office said in a release Monday.

“The open primary is part of Hawaii’s commitment to make voting easier and to include more persons in the democratic process,” said Attorney General Doug Chin. “This ruling keeps Hawaii’s primary elections open to all registered voters, regardless of their formal party affiliation.”

The ruling has no effect on the 2016 primary or general elections, the AG’s office said.

Read the full AP story here.

Read the full court opinion below.

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