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New York Daily News Editorializes for a Voter Registration Form Change to Prevent Confusion Between Independent Voters and Independence Party


From Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:

This New York Daily News editorial says the New York voter registration form should be redesigned to lessen the chances of confusion between independent voters and members of the Independence Party. The editorial wants the form to first ask voters if they do or do not wish to enroll in a party, with “Yes” or “No” boxes. Then, underneath the “Yes” box, the editorial suggests a list of all the qualified parties with their own checkbox. The editorial writer is confident that such a change would reduce the number of voters who enroll in the Independence Party.

Ironically, though, the California voter registration form was changed some years ago to carry out the recommendation, but the change did not slow the steady rise of the number of Californians who register into the American Independent Party. The California form asks, “Do you want to disclose a political party preference?” and has checkboxes for “Yes” and “No.” Under the “yes” choice, the qualified parties are listed. Nevertheless, the American Independent Party grew from having 2.39% of the state’s registered voters in September 2010, to 2.70% in October 2014.

It seems that many voters like the idea of being members of a party of fellow independents. Thanks to Michael Drucker for the link.

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Jed Ziggler

Jed Ziggler is a Libertarian and alternative party activist from Pennsylvania. Email news tips to


  1. paulie paulie January 10, 2015

    “It seems that many voters like the idea of being members of a party of fellow independents. ”

    I have a different explanation. Despite the yes/no box, most people filling out the form still primarily notice the word independent and check the box on that basis, without thinking about it more deeply. Sorry to be cynical, but I registered tens of thousands of voters all over the country, many of them in CA – albeit before the form change, admittedly.

  2. Joshua Katz Joshua Katz January 10, 2015

    I don’t think I’ve ever uttered this phrase before (well, I still haven’t, I’m only typing it) but the Daily News is right on this. I lived in New York and, prior to joining the LP, considered myself an independent. I was surprised to get a knock on my door from a person representing ‘my party’ and dismayed to learn that my party, when I didn’t even know I had one, just endorsed Republicans, except for also being strongly anti-immigration and anti-NAFTA. The person at the door wasn’t surprised, though – he said most people he spoke to thought they weren’t enrolled in any party.

    I was more surprised a few months later to learn that my party had nominated me to be an election official – seems I was the only ‘member’ in my voting district.

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