Massachusetts presidential primary registration comes to a close tonight

— File photo by Susan Safford

Time is quickly winding down for those who have not registered to vote in the Massachusetts March 1 presidential primary. Eligible voters have until 8 pm on Wednesday, Feb. 10 to register or alter their current voter registration.

Eligible voters who hold a Registry of Motor Vehicles–issued identification card may register online with the office of Secretary of State William Galvin, or in person at their town hall. Identification is required. Those who are unsure of their registration status should call their town clerk’s office or check online.

Massachusetts has a semi-closed primary. If a voter is registered to a party, he or she may only vote in that political party’s primary, according to Sec. Galvin’s website. Those who are registered as “unenrolled” may vote in any party’s primary. Voting instructions on Sec. Galvin’s website underscore that unenrolled voters who vote in a party’s primary will not be enrolled in that political party.

By and large, Vineyarders chose to register as Democrats or as unenrolled. A smaller fraction register as Republicans, and an even smaller fraction go for the United Independent Party, the Green Rainbow Party, or a number of smaller political designations, according to town clerks.

Edgartown has the largest number of registered voters among the six Island towns. Of the town’s 3,266 voters 1,685 are unenrolled, 1,077 are Democrats, and 481 are Republicans.

The Secretary of State’s website provides links to the Republican, Democratic, and Green Rainbow ballots. Each ballot includes presidential nominees and state committeeman and committeewoman nominees. Each state senatorial district elects a committeeman and committeewoman to the major political parties during the presidential primary. The Republican ballot is by far the largest of the three, with 13 presidential nominees, 77 candidates for state committeeman, and 64 candidates for state committeewoman.

The Democratic ballot lists four presidential nominees, despite Martin O’Malley’s recent campaign withdrawal, 51 nominees for state committeeman, and 41 nominees for state committeewoman.

The Green Rainbow party ballot lists five presidential nominees, two nominees for state committeeman, and one for state committeewoman. Depending on residency, Islanders will vote in one of the following locations: Edgartown town hall; Chilmark Community Center; Oak Bluffs library; Tisbury Emergency Services Facility; West Tisbury Public Safety Building; Aquinnah town hall.