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Deadline Tonight to Register, Change Party Affiliation for June 24 Primary Elections; Unaffiliated Voters Will Have No Voice in Several Key Local Races

June 3, 2014
By Nancy Schwerzler

Cecil County residents have until 9 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, 6/3/14) to register to vote or change their political party affiliation to be able to cast ballots in the Democratic or Republican primary election on June 24. People who have previously registered as “unaffiliated,” or not aligning with any political party, will be unable to vote in the primary elections—and thus be without a voice in several contests in which key decisions will be made in the primaries.

Citizens can go to the county elections board, located on the first floor of the county administration building in Elkton, or handle it all online at the state Board of Elections website, at this link:

http://elections.maryland.gov/voter_registration/index.html

As of Tuesday morning, Republicans held a slight voter registration majority in Cecil County. There were 24,516 registered Republicans and 23,233 Democrats, while there were 13,289 unaffiliated voters. Those unaffiliated voters will not be permitted to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary; they will only be able to vote in the November general election—by which time many races will already have been decided in the primaries with no rival party candidate appearing on the November ballot.

For example, the race for State’s Attorney will be decided in the Republican primary since no Democrat has filed for the office. And no Democrat filed for the Cecil County resident delegate seat in state District 36, a seat currently held by Republican Del. Michael Smigiel. (Smigiel is facing three rivals seeking to unseat him in the Republican primary.)

In the three Cecil County Council districts in which seats are at stake in the elections (Districts 2, 3, and 4) there are multiple candidates on the Republican party primary ballot in each district. Democratic candidates are running unopposed in their party’s primary, with one candidate running in each district.

Statewide, there are hotly contested party primaries on both the Democratic and Republican sides, especially in the race for governor.

Changing party affiliation can be handled online, at the above link to the state Board of Elections website.

If they choose, voters can change their political party affiliation again before the general election. The general election is open to all registered voters, including party members or unaffiliated registrants.

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One Response to Deadline Tonight to Register, Change Party Affiliation for June 24 Primary Elections; Unaffiliated Voters Will Have No Voice in Several Key Local Races

  1. Jim Roney on June 4, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Which brings up the most frustrating and unfair aspect of the primary election– the 13,289 unaffiliated voters will have no say in the election of Circuit Court Judge. If one candidate gets a majority of both GOP and Democratic voters, that’s it.

    The selection of a judge will only be on the General Election ballot if the primary vote is split. That really makes no sense and only a Maryland Constitutional Amendment can rectify it. Almost 22% of registered Cecil County voters are legally disenfranchised. They should be as highly irate as I am on their behalf.

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