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Q:

How does one unregister to vote?

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Voter-list geek here: You're not going to get yourself off these lists easily. States are now required to keep up-to-date voter lists (not that they do, but that's another story). All states now maintain voter lists at the state (not town or county) level. So you could call the Secretary of State's office and ask to be removed from the list. Or you could call your local town/county elections board office and ask the same. Not sure if they'd do it (there are no federal laws regarding people asking to be removed) but, hey, you can try if it's that important to you. Also: the less you vote, the less you will be contacted. People who vote in every election get contacted A LOT, for obvious reasons. People who vote only in the general Presidential election but not, say, off-year elections get contacted less (though last year both parties made a big effort to get those voters to the polls, with some success). If you don't vote in two consecutive federal elections (i.e., if you didn't vote ... more
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I am in TX too. For some reason my voter registration card was returned. I never got it. When I went to vote I showed them my TDL and they had no record of me. I was no longer on the list. They called several place and finally told me that I could not vote in that election and I would have to re-register to vote. I thought it was funny. I have been voting in every major election ever since I was 18 and suddenly it was like I never registered to vote. So, maybe just return your registration card. more
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FWIW, there's been a lot of trouble with the new statewide voter registration system used in most Texas counties. This story in the Chronicle has some details; they've had several stories about it in recent months. When I moved from Galveston County to Brazoria County in February, I re-registered and had my registration rejected because my drivers license number was supposedly incorrect. I filled out the form again and mailed it in, but never received a voter card. A few weeks before the May 12 election I called the County offices to find out if I was registered or not. They said I was, but there was a big backlog getting the voting cards printed due to "computer problems." No kidding. The nice lady set me up to have a card re-printed, which I received a few days later. more
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Your profile indicates you live in Texas. If you are registered to vote here, you are not registered by party. Instead, you choose what party primary you want to vote in on primary day. The next time it comes around, you can choose a different party primary to vote in if you want. So, if you want to "stop being a Democrat" in Texas, all you have to do is stop voting in their primary; you can vote in someone else's primary or you can simply stay home. If you really want to cancel your registration altogether, check out the Texas Secretary of State web site to find out the right people to ask. On preview, what birdherder said. more
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The short version: die. The county would cross-check your death certificate against your registration and remove you from the list. Hey, you asked. The long version: No. You can change parties but you can't "unregister." You can re-register in order to change party affiliation (or say you have none) or because your address has changed but you can't just ask them to not have you on file anymore. If you are convicted of a felony, you are removed from the voting rolls, and likewise in some states you can't vote without an updated confirmation certificate, but your registration is not "deleted." If they didn't keep all the old records just for cross-referencing it would be much easier to register multiple times, re-register as a person who died a while back, etc. If you don't want to be a party statistic, then just change your party on a new registration form. But the only way you can "unregister" in your state is to register in another. more
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they said when I registered in NY, NY would contact FL about removing me from the rolls Yeah, when my parents went to vote in Virginia last year, they found that I (an Oregon and Washington resident for the past six years), my oldest brother (a California and New York resident for the past five years) and another brother (an Ohio resident) were all on the rolls in our home town, even though we're all registered to vote in our new residences, too. I think I'm also still registered in Washington even though I'm in Oregon. I knew a guy who got two ballots in vote-by-mail Washington, one sent to his new home in the southern part of the state and one sent to his parents. It's hard to disappear from the system, even when you try. This stuff isn't just done state by state, it's often county by county. more
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For what it's worth, vecause it's relatively easy to register as a member of a major party, and even once you do it doesn't guarantee you'll vote for them, the voter registration numbers don't really matter for the parties. I've been active in politics for years and have never heard a party claim any sort of mandate just based on the number of voters registered with them. Generally donor figures are more useful for this. more
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You may be able to unregister by doing nothing at all. In Massachusetts if you don't respond to the town census each year you'll be automatically stricken from the voter rolls. (I found that out one time when I tried to vote and was told I wasn't registered.) Steven - just so you know, that is completely illegal and the city of Lowell is currently being sued for such issues. more
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States have their own election laws. In California, if you don't vote for a certain number of elections, you drop off the voter registry. Call your county registrar recorder or state election commission. more
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You may be able to unregister by doing nothing at all. In Massachusetts if you don't respond to the town census each year you'll be automatically stricken from the voter rolls. (I found that out one time when I tried to vote and was told I wasn't registered. more
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