Want To Vote In The 2017 Mayoral Primary? Voters Must Register Party Affiliation By TOMORROW

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Photo by Fort Greene Focus.

Photo by Fort Greene Focus.

Are you a registered voter? Do you want to vote in the 2017 mayoral primary elections — either Democratic or Republican?

Registered voters who wish to participate in the 2017 primaries must have their correct party affiliation registered by tomorrow — Friday, October 14th.

Don’t know your party enrollment status? Check here. Look for the “Political Party” line.

Update your registration, or register to vote for the first time HERE.

“Any registered voter who currently is not enrolled in a party will not be able to participate in the primary elections next year if they miss this deadline. This applies to voters who leave the political party line blank or indicate that they do not wish to enroll in a party,” explains the New York City Campaign Finance Board (NYC CFB).

Similarly, registered voters who are enrolled in a party but want to change their party will need to do so by October 14th.

What if you are NOT a registered voter?

Un-registered voters have until 30 days before the 2017 primary to register to vote. Next year’s primary is on September 12th, 2017.

***Don’t forget to register by tomorrow, October 14, if you want to vote in the presidential election on November 8th, 2016.

NYS Election Law & How It Impacts You

New York State election law requires voters to change their party enrollment before the registration deadline for a November general election in the year preceding a primary election. The deadline also applies to the other party nominating contests that are held in June and September for Congressional and state legislative offices, the NYC CFB says.

New York apparently has the earliest change-of-party deadline among the 11 states with a closed primary system. We are the only state in the group where the deadline does not fall in the same calendar year as the primary, says the NYC CFB.

By requiring voters to choose a party affiliation 11 months before a primary, New Yorkers are arguably being forced to make a critical choice — that will affect their vote — with incomplete information. It is not known who the other candidates for NYC mayor next year will be, aside from Bill de Blasio, presumably.

New York’s party affiliation deadline was a source of controversy during this year’s presidential primaries. Thousands of registered voters who had no party affiliation, or wanted to change their party affiliation, were unaware of the deadline and could not participate in the April primaries.

Push To Change NYS Election Law

Nearly 2 million voting age citizens in NYS are not registered to vote, say voting rights advocates. In 2014, just 20 percent of eligible citizens voted. This lack of participation impacts the functionality of our democracy.

Advocacy campaign Vote Better NY has proposed changes to NYS law that they say would lower some of the barriers to voting. This includes legislation allowing voters to “change their party enrollment 10 days before the next primary, special or general election.”

Allowing voters to change their party affiliation up to ten days before an election means more participation in high-profile races, like the 2016 Presidential primaries, advocates argue.

Vote Better NY is proposing other changes to NYS voting law, including:

Early voting: establish a 12-day voting period, including two full weekends before Election Day.

Voter friendly ballot — “create a ballot that is easier to read and understand so that every voter can cast a ballot that counts.”

Why it matters

According to data from the NYC Campaign Finance Board, Bensonhurst has one of the lowest registration rates in Brooklyn, with just 68 percent of eligible voters registered as of October 11. Bath Beach is even worse, with just 62.9 percent of eligible voters registered. Dyker Heights is only slightly better, with 69.9 percent of eligible voters registered. In Gravesend, 75.3 percent of eligible voters are registered, in Bay Ridge, 75.3 percent, and in Borough Park, the highest of all aforementioned neighborhoods, 77 percent are registered.

Get those numbers up! Register today!

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