Deadline to change political parties extended to Tuesday

Posted 15 February 2021 at 11:03 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he has signed Executive Order 202.94 extending the enrollment period for voters to make changes to their party enrollment until Tuesday, February 16, setting forth a uniform statewide policy that ensures voters can take advantage of this option regardless that the deadline this year falls on a Sunday.

This change is necessary to ensure that Boards of Election have adequate time to process these voter-requested changes considering many Boards are short-staffed and operating with reduced density due to the Covid-19 public health emergency. The change will go into effect immediately.

“The right to vote is one of the sacred pillars of our democracy, and as we continue to fight the war on Covid, we can’t put democracy on hold,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are extending the period for voters to change their party enrollment until Tuesday, February 16, to help break down more barriers to the ballot box and help ensure everyone has a chance to exercise this fundamental right.”

In 2019, the Governor signed legislation (S.6532A/A.8228B) expediting party enrollment changes to make it easier for voters to participate in primary elections. Previously, changes to party enrollment did not take effect until after the November general election, requiring voters to wait as long as a year for changes to take effect.

The new law removed the October 11 deadline and gave voters until February 14 to make changes to party enrollment. Due to the public health emergency and the fact that this February 14 is a Sunday followed by a holiday, this common-sense measure ensures the spirit of the law is complied with uniformly statewide.