Under the Dome

North Carolina's open primary

Unaffiliated? You'll get to choose your ballot on May 6.

Since 1994, the state's Republican and Democratic parties have opted to allow unaffiliated voters to cast ballots in their primaries by requesting it that day.

If previous trends hold, that could be a boost to John McCain and Barack Obama, two presidential candidates who have had some success drawing unaffiliated voters in the primaries so far.

Those who are already affiliated with either party will have to vote in that primary, however.

But there's still time to change your affiliation. The registration books will close April 11, or 25 days before the primary, as required by law.

After that, you'll be able to register as a new voter or make minor changes to your address or name on your registration at one-stop voting sites or, in some cases, on Election Day, but you won't be allowed to change your party.

As of Dec. 31, North Carolina had 5.6 million registered voters. Of that number, 45 percent were Democrats, 34 percent Republicans and 21 percent unaffiliated.

Previously: Why the state's presidential primary matters.

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