ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A state judge has approved a request by the state Board of Elections to set an August 11 deadline for party enrollment changes ahead of the August 23 primary, according to a decision posted Thursday. Acting Supreme Court Justice Patrick McAllister of Steuben County said any applications to switch parties on or after August 12 won’t take effect until August 30, after the primary.

Voters can change their party enrollment online with a valid Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issued ID or license using the DMV’s online voter registration portal, or by completing a paper registration form and returning it to their County Board of Elections. Any change of party enrollment done on the DMV site requires an extra day to allow for transmission, therefore it must be completed by Wednesday, August 10 to be effective for the August primary.

McAllister said the new deadline should be set to avoid “party raiding” by members of one party who might choose to enroll in an opposing party to disrupt that party’s vote for candidates. That disruption could include stacking votes for a candidate least likely to do well in November.

Before McAllister’s decision, voters could have switched parties up to and including the August 23 primary, after early voting and mail-in voting were already underway. McAllister was the same judge who ruled in a case that resulted in scheduling the unusual August primary for congressional and state senate seats. The primary for Governor and Assembly was held in June as scheduled.

Early voting for the August primary will be held from Saturday, August 13 to Sunday, August 21. If you have any questions about the party enrollment deadline, contact the State Board of Elections at (518) 474-1953 or by email at INFO@elections.ny.gov.