OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) _ The state will appeal a federal court decision abolishing Washington's 68-year-old ``blanket'' primary that allows voters to choose nominees from any political party.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, and Attorney General Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, announced Friday that the state will ask the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the decision made by one of its three-judge panels earlier this week.

If that is unsuccessful, the next step would be an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The political parties called the new appeal a waste of taxpayer money on a challenge that has no chance of succeeding. They agreed with the panel's decision that the primary system violates the parties' right to choose their own nominees.