You may not be registered with the party you thought

In a recent interview with a candidate for the Philipstown Board, there was an error made in the text when the candidate was said to be endorsed by the “Independent” party. There is actually no “Independent” party in New York State; I assume the “Independence” party was intended. This is a very common misunderstanding. [Editor’s note: This has been corrected.]

As someone who has spent a lot of time on petition drives and campaigns for various candidates, I have found that voters are often are registered for the “Independence” party when they thought they were registered as independent, i.e., unaffiliated, voters. If someone isn’t sure about their registration status, NY State provides an easy way to look it up at

Party registration is required to vote in next April’s primaries, when voters will choose their 2016 presidential candidates. However, New York State changes party affiliations only once each year. If you are registered to vote but not registered with a party and you want to have a say in who is chosen next spring, you have until October 9 to change your party affiliation.

You can update your information by filling out a form and mailing it in to Putnam County Board of Elections, available at, or by  registering online at the DMV via

Incorrect information can prevent voters from participating in a party’s primary election or adding their signatures to petition drives, so it’s worth it to make sure your record is current.

As an aside, the same candidate spoke about a Libertarian ballot line. It might be interesting for our neighbors to know that the Libertarian Party of New York has no chapter in Putnam County, and that, in fact, only five people in Philipstown are registered for the Libertarian Party.

While there will be a “Libertarian” ballot line on the Nov. 3 ballot, it is an independent nominating petition ballot line, similar to the “Team Philipstown” ballot line that will be there as well. But the Philipstown “Libertarian” ballot line doesn’t actually represent the Libertarian Party of New York.

Aaron Freimark
Cold Spring

Behind The Story

Type: Opinion

Opinion: Advocates for ideas and draws conclusions based on the author/producer’s interpretation of facts and data.

This piece is by a contributor to The Current who is not on staff. Typically this is because it is a letter to the editor or a guest column.