How to vote in the New York Democratic primary (please share!)

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Since these are party contests not actual elections do the regulations actually apply? (serious question from someone outside the country) From the article it sounds like a lot of things are messed up (54,000 registered members removed from the lists in Brooklyn as well as the above mentioned) and that court action is warranted but i would have thought that if the Party wants a closed primary then it up to the party members not the courts to consider the switch to a open primary.

If I started the Cow Party of America and the leadership rules said you get one vote per cow you bring to the convention and someone challenged this because they lived in a jurisdiction where keeping cattle is not allowed would this not be an internal cow party problem? The requirement to bring a cow to vote for the leader does not impact the ability to vote in the actual elections just in the internal leadership contest.

you can only vote for the party with which you’re registered

the deadline for changing your party affiliation was back in October.

Wow. So bureaucracy. Much USSAR. Wow.

wait, I think I’ve totally misunderstood the term “primary”.

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Strangely enough, when I voted today, they confirmed my identity and then asked me if I was voting Democrat or Republican. I don’t know what would have happened if I had said Republican - maybe the other person who checked my name would have stopped me from getting the R ballot.

The states have some power here, but their ability to force the issue in an internal party matter is limited:

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Because the New York primary is closed, you can only vote for the party with which you’re registered.

That’s actionably untrue, if they choose to not recognize your specific political party.

Mom and I went to vote today around 2pm. The local high school gym wasn’t crowded, there was only one person in front of us. Took about 10 minutes. But there were about 6 people in that time who were arguing about being allowed to vote, despite not being registered in either party.


At least it’s not California. If I recall, Mimi Soltysik, the SPUSA candidate this time around, had to go to court to even get the ability to declare his party affiliation.

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To be clear, you could newly register to vote in NY through March 25 and still be eligible to vote in today’s primary. But they defer party affiliation changes until after a general election (i.e., if you submit a party affiliation change in February, it’s not effective until a week or two after election day in November) to prevent people from switching parties just to vote in a different party’s primary.

I have mixed feelings about this system. On the one hand, it’s not particularly democratic. On the other hand, if we’re going to have political parties, I’m not sure I have a big problem with the political parties wanting their own members choosing their nominees.

I have no problem with them excluding members of another political party. I just wish they could do that without excluding the independents. If you don’t have a party affiliation, the only choice you really have when it comes to the presidency is between Party A’s nominee or Party B’s nominee.

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Pretty sure that Hans von Spakovsyk is snickering in the shadows about this.

Allowing independents to vote in a party primary effectively turns the whole thing into an open primary, since anybody who thinks they might want to vote in another party’s primary at some point in the future would simply register independent to keep their options open (I know I would).

If you want to have a say in who gets nominated, you can simply join a party. It’s not like they charge a membership fee or something, and you can still vote for other candidates in the general election if you don’t ultimately like the nominee. The only downsides I see are (1) you’ll probably get more junk mail and robocalls and (2) I guess in a way you’re reinforcing the two-party system by registering as a member of one, since it makes it look like they have more members. And in NY you have to do it several months ahead of time if you’re already registered as an independent.

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What about (3): A presidential candidate pops up in the other party who you’d vote for if they won the nomination? I’m sure that there are some people out there who don’t identify with either party, and would vote for Kasich over Clinton, but Sanders over Trump. Why should they be shoehorned into a Trump vs. Clinton match-up when there are candidates on both sides of the aisle that they would prefer over the front-runners? Why shouldn’t they be able to put their best candidate into both sides of the race?

Wait. You have to register as an independent? That makes no sense to me.

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These are primaries for the purpose of choosing a party’s nominee, not a run-off designed to narrow down the field of candidates.

Even in states with true open primaries (where you can vote in any primary regardless of your affiliation) you can’t vote in more than one party’s primary.

I’m not saying our party system is the best possible system and I honestly don’t know enough about voting patterns to say whether open or closed primaries are better. But if you’re going to have parties with primaries as opposed to a big all-candidate free-for-all with a series of run-offs, then there’s definitely logic to restricting participation in the primary to those who have committed to registering as a member of that party.

You don’t technically register as an independent. But if you register to vote and don’t check one of the party affiliations on the registration form, you’ll effectively be registered as an independent (technically “no party”).


Yeah – what a lot of people don’t get (and to be fair, the two parties do little to dispel), is that the parties aren’t part of the government – they are just clubs. And like in any club, it only makes sense to vote for a club leader if you are a member. The only presidential election that is official is the real thing in November.

I don’t recall getting much say in the matter.


Well, perhaps next time they’ll register for a party rather than register for no party or register “Independent.”

The primary rules are well known. If someone doesn’t know the rules, they can’t just say on primary day: “But you don’t understand: I am ignorant and/or apathetic and therefore demand an exception!”

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That’s just your slightly inept pollworker at work. They’re just making sure you’re not an R, because they’re constantly handing out D ballots. It says very clearly in the voter book if you’re D or R, and theyll find the mistake, if there is one, when you sign the book.


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