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Friday Is Last Day For Voter Registration, Switching Party Affiliation

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Friday was not only the last day to register to vote for next month's presidential contest, but also to switch parties for next year's mayoral primary. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

Friday was the last chance to register to vote for the general election and some were filling out forms for the first time.

"It's tough," said one voter. "It's going to be a close election."

So groups hit the pavement, promoting participation.

"Since Labor Day, we have registered more than 30,000 New Yorkers," said Neal Rosenstein of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

While these voters most likely had another race in mind, Friday was another important deadline in New York politics: the last day to change your party affiliation to vote or possibly to run in the 2013 mayoral primary, which is just under a year away.

"This is, in some ways, the start of the mayoral primary season, too," Rosenstein said.

The deadline loomed over the city's GOP, who has been recruiting candidates for its 2013 ticket.

"If some of the candidates that have expressed interest in running for the mayoralty in 2013 want to run as a Republican, this is their day to make that happen," said Manhattan GOP Chairman Daniel Isaacs.

For months, some Democrats have been thinking about taking a cue from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, switching parties to avoid a crowded Democratic primary.

Tom Allon, the head of Manhattan Media, is widely expected to be one of them.

"Whether it's Tom Allon, George McDonald, John Catsimatidis," Isaacs said. "We've heard, as you know, we've spoken to Malcolm Smith, the State Senator from Queens. We're now hearing Adolfo Carrion is expressing interest in running as a Republican. All of those candidates, I think, would be vastly superior than the Christine Quinns, the Bill de Blasios."

If those potential 2013 candidates don't switch their party enrollment by Friday's deadline, GOP leaders haven't ruled out supporting candidates with other affiliations, including Democrats.

"We prefer a Republican but never say never," Isaacs said.

They still haven't been able to recruit one unaffiliated New Yorker. When asked Friday, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly rebuffed the idea of changing his current party status.

For more information, visit votenyc.ny.us.

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