If you are hoping to vote in primaries this year and you are currently affiliated with a smaller party, you have until Sunday to update it in Erie County.

If we've learned one thing this year, it's that voting is one of the most important things you can do.  It shapes the political landscape nationally and locally.

This year isn't a presidential election year, but if you plan to vote in primaries this year, you will need to make sure you are associated with one of the political parties that have what they call "ballot status."

Those parties include Democratic, Republican, Conservative, or Working Families parties.

This is important for people who are currently affiliated with the Green, Independence, Libertarian, SAM, Women’s Equality, and Reform party members because those parties are no longer recognized in NYS.

Again, that doesn't mean that you will have to vote for a candidate that is in one of the "ballot status" parties, but it's the only way that you can vote in primaries for those parties.  Otherwise those people will only be able to vote in special and general elections

So how do you change your party affiliation?

Go to elections.erie.gov and click on "Party Registration Change Deadline."  That will give you all the info you need to change your party affiliation.

The Erie County Board of Elections sent out a letter to the 36,000 Western New Yorkers that this will affect with a change form and affidavit that has to be returned to the Board of Elections before Sunday.  Any changes that take place after that will not be effective until after the June primaries.


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