Party Affiliation Must Be Changed This Year To Vote In 2011 Primary

Time is running out for anyone hoping to change their party affiliation for next year’s primaries.

Kentucky is a closed primary state, which means you cannot cross party lines to vote for a candidate outside your party. The primary is May 17th, but if you want to change your party affiliation before the primary, you must do so by December 31st.

Secretary of State Trey Grayson admits that during the holidays most people are not thinking about next year’s primary, but that’s the law.

“If you switch after the first of the year, you can’t vote in your old party primary because you’re not a member anymore,” he says. “But then you can’t vote in the new party primary because you didn’t meet that deadline. So, we have every year, 10,000 or so folks who switch their party affiliation after the first of the year and are thus ineligible to vote in a party primary.”

The state’s seven constitutional offices, including governor and lieutenant governor, are on the ballot next year. The filing deadline for most candidates to qualify is January 25th.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.