Brooklyn Boro

There are new deadlines for voter registration. Here’s what you need to know.

September 27, 2019 Kelly Mena

New York residents will have more time to switch political parties if they so desire come primary season 2020.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new bill this week that extends the deadline for registered voters to change party enrollment until Feb. 1 —  a significant extension from the original date of Oct. 11.

The new measure, which goes into effect immediately, gives voters four extra months to pick their affiliation and still be able to vote in the April presidential primary and the June congressional and state primaries.

Previously, party enrollment changes made after Oct. 11 didn’t take effect until after the November general election, requiring voters to wait as long as a year for changes to take effect.

Now, any party changes made after Feb. 14 will take effect seven days after the succeeding June primary, according to the new legislation.

“In New York we are making monumental changes to break down more barriers to the ballot box and encourage more people to exercise this fundamental right,” Cuomo said in a public statement. “This measure will make it easier for New Yorkers to have their voices heard in presidential, congressional and state primaries.”

What this means for voters

If you are a registered voter, you have four extra months to realign yourself as a Democrat, Republican or independent in time to vote in the April presidential primary. Currently there are four Republicans vying — with many others eyeing the seat — according to Quartz, for the nomination including current President Donald Trump.

For the Democratic side there are currently 19 candidates vying for the party’s nomination, including former Vice President Joe Biden.

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You do not need to enroll in a political party to vote in the general election (Nov. 3, 2020) but registering as a member of a political party allows you to vote in that party’s primary elections and help elect the candidate for the general election.

If you are a registered voter who wishes to join a political party for the first time or change your political party membership, you must complete and submit a new voter registration form.

This year’s presidential primary date is April 28, 2020. The congressional and state primaries are slated for June 23, 2020.

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