State Primary Voter Registration Deadline Approaches

KA_MA Mass Primary Election Voting Orleans_2016 winter_030116_013BOSTON – Eligible voters on Cape Cod and across Massachusetts are facing a registration deadline for the upcoming state primary.

Friday is the last day for people who are not already registered to sign up in time for the state primary. It is also the deadline for changing party affiliation.

Residents have until 5 p.m. Friday to register at their local town clerk’s office. Registration is also open online until midnight Friday.

Despite a quiet primary season statewide, Cape and Islands voters have a number of contests to decide.

“The Cape and Islands have some of the most active primaries in the whole state,” said Secretary of State William Galvin. “There’s a number of contests overlapping and it makes voting very important.”

There are contested democratic contests for three local state representative seats.

In the 2nd Barnstable District, Margeaux Weber and Aaron Kanzer are seeking their party’s nomination. The 3rd Barnstable District features a race between Michael Blanton and Matt Patrick. There are seven candidates running for the Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket seat, five of whom are running as Democrats with two running as independent and third party candidates. Incumbent Representative Tim Madden is not seeking re-election.

Both parties have a primary for Cape and Islands State Senate to replace the retiring Dan Wolf. Julian Cyr and Sheila Lyons are seeking the Democratic nomination, with Jim Crocker and Anthony Schiavi running for the republicans.

Two Republicans, Mark Alliegro and Tom O’Malley, are seeking their party’s nomination to challenge incumbent Congressman Bill Keating.

In a change from previous years, the primary will be held on a Thursday, instead of a Tuesday. State officials made the decision to hold the primary on September 8 in an attempt to accommodate schools following the Labor Day holiday, which is September 5. Many schools on Cape Cod return to classes on the Tuesday after Labor Day.

“[The Tuesday after Labor Day] would really present a problem,” said Galvin. “It’s doubtful most voters, particularly on the Cape would be focusing on the election with Labor Day being a big holiday.”

Holding the election the following week, according to Galvin, was not an option due to the need to get general election ballots printed and ready to go for absentee and overseas voters. Those ballots need to be available 45 days ahead of the election.

Galvin’s office is also asking voters to double check their party affiliation status. There is concern that unenrolled voters, commonly referred to as independents, may have accidentally registered as a member of the United Independent Party. United Independent Party members may only vote in their party’s primary, whereas unenrolled voters can vote in any primary of their choosing.

The United Independent Party gained official recognition from the state after their 2014 gubernatorial candidate garnered 3 percent of the vote.

Content from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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