Deadline looms to change political party for NY’s presidential primary

wwny Deadline looms to change political party for NY’s presidential primary

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The deadline is this week if you've been thinking about changing your political party to vote in New York's presidential primary election.

New York voters on the fence about their political party can still make a change.

Jefferson County Board of Elections Deputy Democratic Commissioner Michelle LaFave says it's because of a new law that started last year.

"This allows for you to, if you want to change your party to participate in a primary election, you can do that," said Michelle LaFave.

But they'll only have until February 14 to switch parties if they want to vote in the presidential primary election on April 28.

Once the deadline passes, a change won't happen until June 30.

LaFave says people need to fill out a voter registration form with their new party selected.

She says Jefferson County voters should bring their form to the Board of Elections office in Watertown to make sure the change happens in time.

"It's the easiest way. It's the best way. Sometimes we don't get the information from the DMV or other places in a timely manner," she said.

New York's primary election won't come until more than a month after Super Tuesday on March 3. A Clarkson University political scientist says this could affect the state's influence on who wins 2020 Democratic nomination.

"It is not inconceivable that you could have two candidates fighting it out to the point where New York really would matter. So, it's possible and it's happened before, but I wouldn't hold our breaths," said Alexander Cohen, assistant professor of political science at Clarkson University.

By the time New Yorkers get to vote, nearly 3,000 of all pledged Democratic delegates will be spoken for And there are slightly less than 4,000 to go around.

LaFave says voting later lets people see which nominee seems to be favored.

"You get to follow and see what happens in Iowa. You get to see what happens in New Hampshire - who's leading and who's falling behind," she said.

LaFave says she hopes making it easier for people to switch their party raises voter turnout.

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