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Deadline is December 31 to change your party affiliation to vote or to run for office in May primary

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Time is running out to change your political party affiliation to vote or run for office in the May 2019 primary election.

Under Kentucky law, to be qualified to vote in a partisan primary election, a voter must have been a member of that party on Dec. 31 of the prior year or a new voter who has not changed their affiliation. Voters who change party affiliation after the Dec. 31 deadline are not eligible to vote in partisan races in the primary election.

The Dec. 31 deadline also affects prospective candidates in the 2019 elections. To be qualified as a party or independent candidate in a regular election, a candidate’s registration status generally must be established by Dec. 31 of the prior year, according to state law.

”Next year, Kentuckians will go to the polls to elect statewide officers, including governor and lieutenant governor,” said Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s chief election official. “This is an important deadline if you are considering a party affiliation change and want to participate in next year’s May primary.”

In addition to the governor and lt. governor slates, voters can also select candidates for attorney general, secretary of state, auditor of public accounts, state treasurer and commissioner of agriculture, during the May primary.  The filing deadline for those offices is Jan. 29, 2019.

Voters can verify their current registration status at www.GoVoteKy.com. To change party affiliation, voters may make the change on the online portal, or complete a voter registration card and return it to their county clerk. Registration forms are available at county clerks’ offices.

Registration forms submitted by mail, in person, or electronically must be received by the county clerk by Dec. 31. Individuals who prefer to make the change in person should check with their county clerks’ offices regarding hours of operation during the holiday season.

You still have plenty of time to register to vote in the May primary election, as the registration books close the afternoon of April 22.

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