Primaries Are Coming

Normally these days I’m not a very political person, but I can’t help noticing the big sandwich board near the T stop I take every morning announcing that the Massachusetts primary will occur on February 5 this year. This is important to me, so I did a little bit of homework.

First off, my research tells me that Massachusetts is a modified primary state. This is different from being open, in which anyone can vote in the primary, and closed, in which you can only vote within your party affiliation if you registered one. If you’re registered as either a Democrat or a Republican, it’s basically a closed primary; you must vote within your party. But if you’re not affiliated you can still vote in either the Democratic or the Republican primary, but not both. A word of caution: I’ve read that choosing a primary to vote in may change your affiliation officially, but I’m not so sure that’s true.

Second, Massachusetts uses a proportional primary system. This one’s a tad more confusing to me, so I recommend you do your own research on what it means. I’m not going to even try to explain it because I simply will not do it justice.

Moving right along, if you’d like to participate in the primaries you should make sure you know where your polling place is. You can contact your town clerk or election commission to find out where it is. Click here to see an index of these folks, and here to see the Elections Division’s site.

Oh, and Wednesday January 16th is the last day to register to vote or change party affiliation before this year’s primary so get moving!

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