Yes, it is only 2012 and we haven’t even had the general election yet, but if you want to vote in the 2013 NYC primaries, you must register to vote by this Friday, October 12.
If you want to change parties and still be eligible to vote in the 2013 NYC primaries, you must make the switch by this Friday, October 12.
If you are not registered in a party by this Friday, you can’t vote in that party’s primary next September. If you are registered as an independent (or, if you make the mistake Rupert Murdoch did), you can’t vote in the Democratic or Republican primaries come next September. And since all of the declared mayoral candidates are Democrats, and many of the Democratic nominees for local races such as City Council become shoe-ins, registered Democrats (or the few registered Democrats that come out to vote in primaries) have a larger-than-normal influence on the outcome of city races. Yes, you can register as a Republican or independent and vote in the general election, but by then, the choice is often made. Just saying.
And yes, this is an immensely screwed up system. That anyone should declare a party affiliation 11 months in advance of an election is insane (some states let you change parties the day of the primary). That anyone should have to declare a party affiliation at all in order to have a say in who governs them is also insane. But them’s the rules – so click on over to the Board of Elections and register (before it’s too late).
And then, vote!