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Why the other primary? Is there a reason or just something you have always done?
Under normal circumstances in this brutally gerrymandered state, the candidate for the party of preference is obvious or even unopposed in state and local elections. I vote in the opposition's party in an effort to increase the vote for the candidate who is not the favored candidate in hopes of creating a run-off. That's when the politics become expensive and down and dirty. If my party of preference had two equally competent candidates running neck and neck, I would vote in that primary. You do not have to be registered with a party to vote in a primary.
Of course, in the general election, there is no need for those tactics.
That is a good idea, but you said cross-party. In some states, there can be two opposing candidates from the same party and none from the opposing party in the general election. Also, they make it almost impossible to vote in the other party primary.
Georgia is a brutally gerrymandered state. I try to use my votes in the primary to support the best of the opposition party, which isn't always easy. I don't know why we are permitted to vote in whatever primary we wish, but I think it a good idea. Because the state is so savagely gerrymandered, the party I prefer often has only a token candidate in the general election, or, as you suggest, none at all.
My state is too, after they promised us they would not,
That is something I would like to see done away with. Gerrymandering is not a good thing no matter which party does it.
They can’t get rid of it. In my state, it all favors one party but they said it was redone fairly. It is not. Some districts look like elongated hour glasses.
I suspect Congress has to introduce legislation to change it.