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Register for a Political Party by Friday to Vote in the Mayoral Primaries

By Nicole Levy | October 10, 2016 2:13pm
 If you're an independent voter and you want to cast a ballot in next year's mayoral primaries, act now.
If you're an independent voter and you want to cast a ballot in next year's mayoral primaries, act now.
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DNAinfo/Colby Hamilton

Friday Oct. 14 is your last chance to register to vote in the 2016 general election on Nov. 8 and to declare your political party affiliation in time to vote in the 2017 primaries.

There are three ways to register to vote in New York state — online, by mail or in person — as we outlined in our handy guide.

Declare Your Party Affiliation

If you're already registered, you may still want to submit a new voter registration form to join a political party or switch affiliations. However be aware that you won't be voting as a member of that party in the upcoming general election because your change in party enrollment will go into effect one week after the country elects the new president.

Why Should You Think About Your Party Affiliation Right Now?

If you're a registered voter without a party affiliation, you won't be able to cast a ballot in the primary elections next September. That's because New York processes party enrollment changes only once a year, and the states' change-of-party deadline is the earliest among those of the 11 states in America with a closed primary system, which allows only Republicans to vote in the Republican Primary and Democrats to vote in the Democratic Primary.

New York's deadline is in fact so early that it's the only one of those 11 states that falls during the calendar year before the primary. (Voting rights activists consider the cutoff a mode of voter suppression; in the days leading up to the presidential primary in April, many New Yorkers — including Donald Trump's own children — realized they wouldn't be able to cast their ballot for Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump or Ted Cruz because they were unaffiliated with any party.)

Who You'll be Voting for in 2017

If you have strong feelings about which Democratic and Republican candidates should go head-to-head in the 2017 mayoral election, you'd better act now. Mayor Bill de Blasio's would-be competitors are already staring to prepare for next fall.

We leave you with this timely fun fact, from the New York City's Department of Records: