As you read yesterday I’m officially changing my party registration to Republican so I can vote in the GOP primary on June 8th. Depending on who the party nominates, I’ll either stay Republican or switch back to independent (current odds are 20-1 in favor of switching back). But that’s not the purpose of noting this again today.
You see, I ran into a NN&V reader last week who is also a registered independent and DIDN’T REALIZE she couldn’t vote for her favorite Republican gubernatorial candidate on June 8th because she wasn’t a registered Republican. Nor did she know of the pending deadlines to re-register in time to be allowed to vote in the GOP primary. And I’m betting she’s not alone.
So here’s what the Republican brain-trust, such as it is, should do IMMEDIATELY:
Get the list of all the registered independents in Nevada from their much ballyhooed Voter Vault. Then do an auto-dial featuring a celebrity personality (I’d bet Newt or Haley Barbour would do this in a heartbeat) who simply advises something along these lines:
“This is an important voter alert. If you’re not a registered Republican in Nevada you can’t vote in the Republican primary on June 8th. If you’d like to change your registration before the deadline, press 1 and we’ll have someone call to help you.”
With that you then have live operators call back everyone who presses 1. Take down all the information the local election department requires to change their party registration and email the completed form back to the individual. Then, all they have to do is print it out, sign and date the form, and get it in the mail before the May 8th mail-in deadline.
But even after the May 8th mail-in deadline, the party can still help independents who wish to vote in the GOP primary fill out the form and email it back to them with instructions on where to take it in person to make the change before the May 18th in-person deadline. They might even be able to send official field registrars out to people’s homes and offices to save them a trip (check the current law on this, however).
Or the live phone operator can walk a person through the Secretary of State’s website and show them, while simultaneously on the phone and the Internet, where to find the online registration form they need to change parties.
Registering independents who want to vote in the Republican primary is low-hanging fruit. Sure, some will switch right back to independent after the primary, but many won’t. And the GOP will quickly, inexpensively and significantly close the registration gap with the Democrats in a matter of a couple weeks.
The only real question is: Why the hell haven’t they done this already?