Did you know that 60% of registered Southborough voters are unenrolled in any party?
The good news is those voters can choose to vote in any of the party primaries. (Don’t get too excited. You can only vote in one).
Most importantly. . . Did you know that Independent is a party affiliation, which is different than being unenrolled? And are you sure which way you are registered?
Town Clerk Jim Hegarty has been getting a lot of questions from confused wannabe voters. So he has asked me to share a letter to residents.
In it, he explains party affiliations, the primary, and how to check or change your status. (For instance, if you want to switch parties for this primary, the deadline is February 10.)
The letter also provides some important links.
While I’m sharing his news, I’ll insert an announcement that Jeanne Steele Kangas of Boxborough asked me to share. She is running for re-election to the Massachusetts Republican State Committee for our district.
I took a look at the candidates for the Democratic Primary. It turns out, one of Southborough’s own is running for re-election to State Committee in that party – Rebecca Deans-Rowe.
Now, here’s Hegarty’s letter:
I would like to share some important information regarding the Presidential Primary Election on March 1, 2016.
Sixty percent of the registered voters in Southborough are UNENROLLED which is the legal term for someone who is not enrolled in a political party. For many years, the casual term INDEPENDENT has been used to identify someone who is UNENROLLED. At the polling place, an UNENROLLED voter can ask for a ballot from any of the four political parties registered in this election:
United Independent Party*
If you have registered with one of these parties, that is the ONLY ballot you will receive at the polls.
Several people who have come to the Clerk’s office to register to vote or to request an Absentee Ballot said they were confused by the words UNENROLLED and INDEPENDENT. If you want to check to see how you are registered to vote, click here to CHECK YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS. If you do not want to be associated with any party, you should list yourself as UNENROLLED.
Here are some important dates to remember:
Presidential Primary Election
Tuesday March 1, 2016
Polls will be open from 7 am – 8 pm
Register to Vote
The last day to register to vote or to change your party enrollment is February 10. Either visit the Clerk’s office or click here to REGISTER TO VOTE ONLINE
You can request an absentee ballot until noon on February 29. You can get an absentee ballot at the Clerk’s office or click here to APPLY FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
All completed Absentee Ballots must be received at the Clerk’s office by 8 pm on Election night.
A family member can request an Absentee Ballot for someone in his or her family.
Are You Registered to Vote?
Click here to CHECK YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS
Where do you vote?
Click here to CHECK YOUR POLLING LOCATION
It is your right to vote, register in any political party, choose not to register in a political party or choose note to vote at all.
If you have any questions, please stop by the Clerk’s office or call us at (508) 485-0710 ext. 3005.
Southborough Town Clerk
(508) 485-0710 ext. 3005
*Editor’s Note: The United Independent Party (UIP) doesn’t have any candidates (yet) for this primary. I checked in with Hegarty and he clarified.
The UIP ballot will have a write in option. If someone is registered in that party, that is the only ballot they can use. A write-in vote will only count towards the UIP totals, not a Democrat/Republican’s totals within their own party. As of last night, 25 voters in Southborough were registered as UIP.
Updated (2/3/16 7:46 pm): I referenced the wrong date for changing parties. The deadline is 2/10.