QUESTION: switching political parties in nyc

question / pregunta: 

I was just looking at new york city election laws. I am registered to vote, but am not registered in any political party. I was thinking of switching to be a democrat for this election so I could vote in the primary.

From what I read on the Board of Elections site ( )"You cannot CHANGE your enrollment and vote in the NEW PARTY of your choice in the same year."

I take that to mean that even if I was to switch party affiliation now, I can't vote in the upcoming primary. I would have to wait until next year's primary to vote.

This got me thinking. My main questions is this: How far ahead of the rebublican primary did Bloomberg change his party affiliation?

Is it really the case that I could change affiliation and run in the primary but I'm barred from voting in the primary?

My secondary questions are in how this relates to other places rules on primaries and has an issue like this, a restriction on voting in a municipal primary, ever been resolved in the courts?


Eric's friend Amanda (who works at Gotham Gazette, a place to find information about city policies) dug up this quote from Renée Paradis at the Brennan Center:

"New York is one of only nine states in the country, however, that has a party affiliation deadline that is earlier than the voter registration deadline, requiring voters who are already registered who want to switch their party enrollment to do so well before most people are thinking of the primary election or the media is covering it. Moreover, New York is one of only five states that require even those voters who are not currently affiliated with a party to meet these early deadlines. Of these five states, New York has the longest advance deadline, which is twenty-five days before the prior general election, in early October, for both the February presidential primary in presidential election years and the regular September primary in other years." --Testimony of Renée Paradis Before the New York State Elections Committee, April 24, 2009

See also Shhh, Or Independents Might Actually Get to Vote by Ms. Paradis

Amanda also points out that a candidate is not actually required to be a member of any one party to run in that party's primary. Witness NYC Mayor Bloomberg's recent efforts to secure lines on multiple primary ballots. Mayor Bloomberg is registered as "unaffiliated" but is hoping to appear on the Independence, Republican and Democratic tickets in this year's primary elections.

More articles and commentary from Gotham Gazette on NYC elections:

This answer is more or less directly from Amanda, with a little editing from Jenna, your Radical Reference Librarian (who would welcome Amanda to our ranks anytime).