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40° Good Morning

New leeway for party switchers in New York is welcome

Credit: ISTOCK

A much-needed change to New York’s election law is on the books.

A voter used to have to plan stunningly far ahead to change a party enrollment to vote in a primary. Now voters have until Feb. 14 to make a switch that would allow them to vote in New York’s April 28 presidential primary and its state and federal primaries in June.

Without this change in the law, you would have had to switch by next week, Oct. 11, well before the start of 2020’s presidential primaries.

The problem wasn’t so extreme for those registering with a party for the first time. Those voters had a little more more time to designate their party choices.The New York inconvenience, which many other states don’t have, crossed party lines. Two of Donald Trump’s children weren’t registered as Republicans in time to vote for their father in the 2016 New York primary.

It’s true that constant party switching would be chaotic. But for most people, that kind of gamesmanship is unlikely. The deadline to switch parties closer to the primary, when voters are more likely to pay attention, will allow them to better follow their preferences.

Next year’s votes will be important across the board, from the race for president to crucial state contests. The more people who participate, the better. — The editorial board