Statement required to vote in GOP primary

Republicans voting in the March 1 presidential primary will have to sign a statement declaring their affiliation with the party under a new rule created by state GOP officials and approved by the state Department of Elections.

Edgardo Cortes, commissioner of the state board of elections, said the wording of the statement was finalized at a meeting between department and party officials earlier in the week.

Those planning to vote in the Republican primary will be directed by polling place officials to read and sign the following statement before receiving a ballot: “My signature below indicates I am a Republican.”

The form also seeks information on email addresses and telephone numbers, but voters will not be required to fill out those parts.

State law does not require voters to register by party, and anyone is allowed to vote in primaries but Cortes said the non-binding statement for the Republican primary is permissible.

“This is something under code that state parties are entitled to require for participation,” Cortes said of the GOP statement.

Some election officials in other parts of the state have warned that signing the statement will irritate some Republican voters and create backlogs at polling places.

Rick Miller, voter registrar for Frederick County, said his office will be prepared to follow whatever the Department of Elections requires and allows.

“We’re just going to do what we have to do,” Miller said. “Whatever requirements are for the primary, we will do just what we have to do.”

Carol Tobin, Warren County’s voter registrar, said she had not received any official information from the state and directed questions to the state Republican Party and the Department of Elections.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com