17,000 Onondaga County voters have a decision to make: Should I enroll in another party? – syracuse.com

Posted: January 7, 2021 at 5:25 am

Syracuse, N.Y. About 17,000 Onondaga County voters have a decision to make by Feb. 14, according to letters that went out in recent days:

They can keep their current enrollment status in the Green, Independence, Libertarian or Serve America Movement party. That means they can still vote in 2021, but only in the general election, not in primaries, elections officials say.

Or, these minor party members can chose to enroll in one of the four remaining parties on New Yorks ballot: Democratic, Republican, Conservative or Working Families.

Lastly, the voters can also choose to become a non-enrolled voter another category that means theyre not enrolled in any party and limits voting to general elections.

The options come after four of the six minor political parties in New York failed to get enough votes in 2020 to automatically qualify for a ballot spot this year.

In past years, the minor parties had to get 50,000 votes during a gubernatorial race to remain on the ballot.

But a change last year made securing that spot harder for the smaller political parties.

Now, minor parties must get 2% of the vote in a presidential or gubernatorial year. That threshold set last November was about 173,000 votes, according to the states certified election results.

These four parties fell well short of that in the Nov. 3 election in New York.

Statewide, just 60,234 Libertarians voted for Jo Jorgensen. Another 22,587 Independence members voted for Brock Pierce. The SAM party didnt run a presidential candidate.

And Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, of Syracuse, got 32,753 votes in New York.

The ballot change doesnt mean the parties are going away.

Also, no voter registered in these parties will lose their ability to vote, Elections Commissioners Dustin Czarny and Michele Sardo said.

If they choose not to make a change, they will still be registered and the county will continue to track their current party status, Sardo said.

That could be important if the parties re-qualify for ballot status in 2022, the next gubernatorial race.

But going forward, these voters wont be allowed to vote in primaries in the other four parties, Sardo and Czarny said.

To be eligible to vote in 2021 primaries, the deadline to change your registration is Feb. 14.

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17,000 Onondaga County voters have a decision to make: Should I enroll in another party? - syracuse.com

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