Switching sides? New York voters have just 1 week to change political parties before August primary

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A polling place in downtown Ithaca during the first of several primaries this summer. (Megan Zerez/WSKG)

There’s a new deadline to change parties before the August 23 primary. 

Registered voters have until August 11 to change their party affiliation for the upcoming congressional and state Senate primaries.

That new deadline was set by Acting Justice Patrick McAllister. His decision back in May to split the primary elections in two created a loophole for the August election that would have allowed voters to switch parties up until and including Primary Day itself.

His new decision comes a day after the state Board of Elections sent him a letter requesting the change.

McAllister said the decision is intended to prevent “party-primary raiding,” where voters join a second party with the explicit purpose of influencing another party’s primary.

Advocates for open primaries dismiss those concerns and blame party leaders for clinging to an “antiquated closed primary system.”

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