YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Changing a party affiliation is not a difficult task and one that may be happening more this election cycle. According to CBS News, nearly 50,000 registered Democrats in Pennsylvania alone have switched to the Republican Party and as many as 20,000 Democrats in Massachusetts have made the same move in their state.
According to election officials at the Mahoning County Board of Elections, all a voter has to do to change party affiliation is ask for that party’s ballot at their polling station. It doesn’t matter which party the voter is registered. However, if they want to revert back to their original registered party, a trip to a the board of elections is needed before the next election.
“Using the computer system has really helped with a lot of the paper work that we used to have to do. So now, it’s all automatic what we put in here automatically does down.,” said Theresa Breen, poll worker.
Yale University professor Costas Panagopoulos told CBS News there is evidence more voters are switching.
“It’s unclear whether voters are switching parties to vote sincerely or to vote strategically, but we do see evidence that they’re switching,” Panagopoulos said.
Another report cited by CBS News found that 1,000 blue-collar Democrats in Mahoning County have switched to being Republicans. A spokesman, however, for the department of state said Ohio won’t have updated statistics on party affiliation changes until after the results come in from the state’s winner-take-all primary on Tuesday.