Monday, August 2, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions About Voting in Congressional Party Primaries


The Louisiana Secretary of State's office has published a very detailed and useful FAQ about the upcoming elections. For your convenience, I'm reposting most of it below:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS --- CONGRESSIONAL CLOSED PARTY PRIMARY

1. What political parties are recognized in Louisiana?
Democratic Party (DEM)
Green Party (GRN)
Libertarian Party (LBT)
Reform Party (RFM)
Republican Party (REP)
No other parties are unrecognized. By law, no political party shall be recognized in Louisiana which declares its name solely to be “Independent” or “the Independent Party”.

2. I’m registered with the Democratic (DEM) party, can I vote at the August 28th 1st Party Primary?
Yes, the Democratic Party will have a 1st Party Primary on August 28, 2010 because they qualified two (2) or more democratic candidates for U.S. Senator and for U.S. Representative in Districts 2 & 4.

3. I’m registered with the Green (GRN) party, can I vote at the August 28th 1st Party Primary?
No, the Green Party did not qualify two (2) or more candidates for the August 28, 2010 primary.

4. I’m registered with the Libertarian (LBT) party, can I vote at the August 28th 1st Party Primary?
Yes, the Libertarian Party will have a 1st Party Primary on August 28, 2010 because they qualified two (2) or more libertarian candidates for U.S. Senator.

5. I’m registered with the Reform (RFM) party, can I vote at the August 28th 1st Party Primary?
No, the Reform Party did not qualify two (2) or more candidate for the August 28, 2010 primary.

6. I’m registered with the Republican (REP) party, can I vote at the August 28th 1st Party Primary?
Yes, the Republican Party will have a 1st Party Primary on August 28, 2010 because they qualified two (2) or more republican candidates for U.S. Senator and for U.S. Representative in Districts 3 & 5.

7. I’m registered with an unrecognized party or no party, can I vote at the August 28th 1st Party Primary?
Yes, you are considered an “unaffiliated voter” because you are either registered with an unrecognized party or with no party. Recognized parties determine who is allowed to vote in their party primaries and the Democratic Party and the Libertarian Party have opened their primaries to unaffiliated voters. The Republican Party has chosen to close their primary to only registered republican voters. Therefore, you may choose to vote in EITHER the Democratic or Libertarian party primary election. If you choose to vote in the Democratic party primary, you may vote for only the Democratic candidates in the U.S. Senate and U.S. Representative races (in those districts which have a U.S. Representative race). If you choose to vote in the Libertarian party primary, you may only vote for the Libertarian candidates for U.S. Senator. (The Libertarian Party did not qualify two (2) or more candidates for U.S. Representative, only U.S. Senator).

8. Why can’t I vote for the candidate of my choice?
The closed party primaries restrict voters to voting for candidates in the same party as their voter registration party. However, voters who are registered with unrecognized parties or no party may choose to vote in an open party primary as discussed above.

9. Why is the Republican primary closed to all voters except Republicans?
The law allows a recognized party to file documentation with the Secretary of State to close their primary. The Republican Party has filed such documentation.

10. I’m registered with the Reform (RFM) party, and I know that a Reform candidate qualified to run for U.S. Senate, so why can’t I vote for that candidate at the 1st party primary on August 28, 2010? When will I be able to vote for that candidate?
When only one candidate qualifies for a congressional office, that candidate’s name will appear only on the GENERAL ELECTION ballot, and will not appear in the party primary. You can vote for your candidate in the general election on November 2, 2010.

11. If I change my party to Democratic, can I vote for a Democratic candidate?
If I change my party to Libertarian, can I vote for a Libertarian candidate?
If I change my party to Republican, can I vote for a Republican candidate?
Yes, you may change your party, but you must do so before the 30 day deadline before the election (7/28/10 is 30 day deadline for August 28th 1st party primary, 9/1/10 is the 30 day deadline for October 2nd 2nd party primary, and 10/4/10 is the 30 day deadline for the November 2nd General Election). All registration changes must be made 30 days prior to the election, or they are held until after the election. Contact your parish registrar of voters.

12. If I changed my party so I could vote for the candidate of my choice in the party primary, how do I change my party back?
You may change your party again, but you must do so before the 30 day deadline before the election. Contact your parish registrar of voters or make a change online at http://www.geauxvote.com/ by clicking on the Register to Vote button.

13. I’m registered with a non-recognized party, such as the Louisiana Taxpayer Party. Will I be allowed to vote in the closed party primary?
Yes, you are considered an unaffiliated voter. See the answer to question #7 above.

14. If I am not registered with a party, can I vote on local races/issues? Do I have to vote in a party primary that is open to unaffiliated voters?
The August 28th election is a party primary and does not have any local races/issues on the ballot. The October 2nd election is an Open Primary, and yes, you may vote on any local race/issue if your parish has one on the ballot.


CLICK HERE to read the rest or to get a printable pdf.

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