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What to expect when you’re electing: What is a primary?

Bill Fonda

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript


Primary elections determine who the parties’ candidates are for state and national offices.

One feature of New Hampshire’s primary system is that undeclared voters, or those who do not belong to a political party are allowed to vote in primaries. A voter must choose either a Democratic or Republican ballot when they go to vote, and must fill out a card or sign a list to return to undeclared status with the supervisors of the checklist before leaving the polling place.

Voters can also change their party status prior to a primary, but only for a limited time. The New Hampshire Bulletin reported that according to the Secretary of State’s office, 3,542 registered Democrats switched their registration to undeclared and an additional 408 Democrats switched their registration to Republican between Sept. 14 and Oct. 7, when they were allowed to switch parties in time for the presidential primary, 

According to the Secretary of State’s office, the last day a registered voter can change their party affiliation before the 2024 state primary is June 4, 2023.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative as part of its What to Expect When You’re Electing Series. For more information visit