When you first register to vote, you will be asked to choose which political party you want to be affiliated with. Of course, we know most about the two major parties—Democrat and Republican—but there are also several other third parties to consider, as well. Plus, you can even be unaffiliated with a political party. But how do you choose? Read on to learn more:
Pick a party that shares your general views
It will be hard to find a political party that agrees with you on everything. However, the party you choose should share your general views, especially those you value the most.
If, for instance, you strongly believe that every American should have access to universal healthcare, then you should choose a political party that shares that belief. However, if you do still believe in universal healthcare but your top priority is tough immigration laws instead, then you should pick a party that advocates for strict immigration laws.
A note on Third Parties
Third Parties are smaller political parties than Democratic or Republican Parties. There are several Third Parties, but very few have candidates that have been elected to office. This is because Third Parties generally have very restrictive platforms, often focusing on one or two issues (for example, the Green Party focuses mainly on climate change and environmentalism).
You don’t have to join a political party, but there are caveats
There is no law saying you have to join a political party. When you register, there will be an option for you to check that says “I do not wish to register with a political party,” or something to that effect. This means you will be an Independent.
While an Independent voter can participate in general elections, they cannot vote in primaries in some states.
You can always change your party
The political party you choose when you first register is not set for life. You can change it at any time.