Deadline to change political party is next week


Those who wish to participate in Republican Caucus must be registered with that party by Dec. 31

By OJ Stapleton - ostapleton@newsdemocratleader.com



The final day to change your political party and still be able to take part in next year’s presidential primary is Thursday, Dec. 31.

Paperwork to change political affiliation must be filed in the county clerk’s office.

That includes anyone who wants to take part in the first-ever Kentucky Republican Presidential Caucus, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 5.

The Republican Caucus, unlike previous primaries, will be held in March instead of May and will be handled completely by the local Republican party. The county clerk’s office is in charge of the May primary.

“We are not involved with the Caucus at all,” said Logan County Clerk Scottie Harper. “We will help them if they ask for it, but we don’t put that on at all. The guidelines and everything come from the state Republican party.”

There will still be a May primary for every other office scheduled to be on the ballot this year, except for the Republican presidential nomination.

“Our role is to do the May primary,” Harper said. “We’ll have every item on there, except for that.”

In the Republican Caucus, only registered Republicans are eligible to vote on March 5. Voters must be registered Republicans by December 31, 2015.

Every county Republican Party has the option to hold a caucus or conduct a regional caucus with neighboring counties. A typical county party will hold its own caucus in one location. The most populous counties will have multiple caucus locations.

In Logan County, the caucus will be held at the GOP Headquarters on the Russellville square. Voting hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Presidential candidates must file their declaration of candidacy with the Republican Party of Kentucky by January 7, 2016.

Candidates who have filed for the caucus so far include Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, John Kasich and Chris Christie.

Some key dates for the Republican Caucus are:

Thursday, December 31, 2015 Voter registration deadline to be eligible to vote at caucus.

Thursday, January 7, 2016 Filing deadline for presidential candidates.

Thursday, January 7, 2016 Applications for absentee ballots may begin.

Thursday, January 14, 2016 Absentee ballots must be printed.

Friday, February 19, 2016 Applications for absentee ballots must be received at RPK.

Friday, March 4, 2016 Completed Absentee Ballots must be received at RPK.

Saturday, March 5, 2016 Caucus Day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Local Time)

A list of other caucus locations can be found on the Kentucky Republicans website, rpk.org.

Harper also would like to remind citizens that his office is always in need of poll workers and anyone who wishes to be a poll worker for the May primary would be welcome.

“We’re always looking for poll workers, but if you change your party, you can’t be a poll worker for a year,” Harper said. “You have to be in that party for one year to be a poll worker.”

To sign up to be a poll worker, you must contact the Republican or Democratic chairman.

“They have to sign their forms with their party before March 15 in order to be a poll worker,” Harper said. “My office will be happy to help anyone in that process of becoming a poll worker.”

Those who wish to participate in Republican Caucus must be registered with that party by Dec. 31

By OJ Stapleton

ostapleton@newsdemocratleader.com

To contact OJ Stapleton, email ostapleton@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394

To contact OJ Stapleton, email ostapleton@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394

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