New York makes it easier to change parties before primary

New York makes it easier to change parties before primary
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New York voters will now have until mid-February to register with a political party ahead of the April presidential primary, a change Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said will help limit barriers to voting. 

The new law, signed by Cuomo Thursday, extends the deadline to register with a party to Feb. 14; it had been Oct. 11.

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"While the federal administration continues to look for new ways to disenfranchise voters across the country, 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 an announcement.

New Yorkers must be enrolled with a party to vote in primary elections.

The change is effective immediately. 

The presidential primary in New York will be held on April 28. Primaries for state and congressional races are held in June.

Changes of enrollment made by voters after the Feb. 14 deadline will take effect seven days after the succeeding June primary, according to Cuomo's office. 

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field Buttigieg says he doubts consulting work for insurer led to layoffs Trump supporters at Pa. rally 'upset' after Democrats introduce impeachment articles MORE (I-Vt.), a 2020 presidential candidate, thanked Cuomo and New York state legislators for changing the rule that he said was “one of the worst barriers to primary voter registration in the country.” 

“In 2016, countless voters across the state were disenfranchised due to the absurd deadline for voters to register their party affiliation more than six months in advance of the primary,” Sanders, who lost New York in his unsuccessful 2016 primary campaign, said in a statement. 

“At a time of rampant voter suppression by Republicans across the country, Democrats must do everything possible to make it easier, not harder, for Americans to vote and participate in democracy.”