Third party voters in New York excluded from presidential primary

Mar 28, 2016

Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers may be left out of the Empire State's presidential primary this April because it's closed, meaning only registered Democrats and Republicans can participate. The New York League of Women Voters' legislative director Barbara Bartoletti said that leaves out voters who are registered under third parties.

"We want people to participate in their government," Bartoletti said." We want people to vote and its depressing that we have set up so many barriers in New York State to disallow all of the very well informed."

According to the New York State Board of Elections, there were 476,873 residents registered with the Independence Party last November and 157,000 with the Conservative Party. Unless they have moved since then, all will be unable to participate in the state's Republican and Democratic primaries.

Bartoletti said a record number of people tried to change their party affiliation this year, but were not allowed because it was after the October registration deadline. It's why she said the League of Women Voters supports reforms to elections, such as enacting same-day voter registration.