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Government & Politics

Changing Parties for Primary Elections Can be Problematic

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DAN KONIK
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Your new party registration could impact future activities.

With the May primary just days away, some Ohioans might be thinking about switching political parties to cast a ballot for a friend who is running for office or have a say in more interesting, contested races. But doing so has possible pitfalls. 

In a partisan primary, voters are asked if they want a Republican, Democrat or an issues-only ballot. If you consider yourself a member of a particular party but switch to vote in the other party’s primary Tuesday, you will be recorded as affiliated with that other party. 

Candidates of your new party could target you for fundraising, though parties tend to focus on their own likely voters. But your new party registration might keep you from signing some petitions or participating in certain political events.

If you sit on a local board or foundation based on your party affiliation, you may not qualify to hold that position anymore. You cannot change your political party again until the next primary election, which right now is the presidential primary in March 2020.