The 2016 presidential election promises a rousing primary season, and New Yorkers need to be aware that if they need to change their party affiliation, it has to be soon. October 9th is both the last date to register as a voter for this year's general election, and the last date to change party affiliations for next April's primary.
Donald Trump and Jeb Bush at the first Republican candidate debate. Photo by Peter Stevens used under Creative Commons license.Lots of voters are looking forward to voting in next spring's primary election to select Hillary Clinton, Lincoln Chafee, Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb, or Bernie Sanders (or a candidate who hasn't appeared yet) for the Democratic nomination, or Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, or any of the other declared or possible candidates for the Republican nomination. Some voters might show up for the primary only to discover they're not eligible to vote.
In order to vote in a primary election in the State of New York, a voter must be registered in that particular party. For example, only registered Democrats can vote in the Democratic Party primary, and only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican Party primary. (Some states have "open primaries," in which any voter can vote for any candidate in a primary, as opposed to New York's "closed primary.")
If you're not sure how and where you're registered, check using this link:
Some Bernie Sanders supporters are registered as Green Party members, rather than Democrats.Many voters decline to declare a party affiliation when they register, or affiliate with a third party such as the Green Party or the Independence Party. These voters won't be eligible to vote in the presidential primary unless they change their party affiliation.
The deadline to change your party affiliation for the presidential primary taking place in New York in April 2016 is October 9th, 2015! That's also the deadline to register to vote for the 2015 general election, which is on November 3rd this year.
Voters can register to vote or change their party affiliation using a form available at the Tompkins County Board of Elections web site, at the Board of Elections at 128 East Buffalo Street during their office hours or the NYS Board of Elections web site, and at some town or village clerk offices, post offices, school offices, or at the DMV or DMV web site.
While you're at it, the form also provides an opportunity to register as an organ donor. Take five minutes, and you could save eight of the 117,000 people waiting for an organ.
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