Thanks to Ross McDonald, the very capable Director of the Lake County Board of Elections, for answering our question on how a voter can change their party affiliation.
Party affiliation is gained by requesting the desired party’s ballot at a Primary Election.
Either on the absentee application, or in-person at the polls, the voter will declare which party’s primary ballot they would like to vote on. They are then registered with that party until they vote differently at the next Primary.
If the voter goes two primary elections without participating in a partisan primary, the voter’s affiliation is then reset to Undeclared.
To become an “Independent” (in our lingo we refer to it as “Nonpartisan”) a voter would need to request an “Issues Only” ballot at a Primary Election. As the name implies, these ballots do not contain candidates. Voters who choose this ballot miss out on the chance to nominate candidates to move forward to the General Election, but still get to vote on tax levies, charter amendments, etc.
Finally, just because someone is registered with say, the Republican Party, they are perfectly fine to change affiliation at the next Primary Election to a different party or to Independent/Nonpartisan (Issues Only ballot).
(LFC Comment: So if you think your current party has “gone off the rails”, or their party platform is just words on a page because their actions do not demonstrate that they believe in their own platform, you might want to consider your alternatives. Matthew 7:16 “Ye will know them by their fruits….”
Whatever you decide, please remember to vote, there are a lot of people that sacrificed everything for your freedoms. )