Not registered to vote yet? You can join the Birthday party or even the Jedi party, if you’d like

By Jennifer Learn-Andes - | September 14th, 2016 8:20 pm

Pennsylvania residents have the option to write any word in the blank space as their political party on voter registration applications, and Luzerne County voters creatively exercise that option.

Birthday, Pirate, Jedi, Halloween, Rambler, Pirate and Aristocrat are among the parties selected by at least one county voter, a review of the latest registration statistics show.

There are members of the Everyday, Interesting, Good One and Representitiveness parties.

A member of the Sir Fred the Cat party has been registered for years, and another declared the Do Not Vote party.

County Election Director Marisa Crispell said she usually scans the latest roster, looking for unusual additions.

“The possibilities are endless,” Crispell said.

Wanda Murren, spokesperson of the Pennsylvania Department of State, which oversees elections, said voters who don’t register as Democrats or Republican have the option to choose no affiliation or state something under “other” on their applications.

“We don’t have a list of other parties from which an applicant can choose. The applicant gets to choose,” Murren said.

A total 15,428 Luzerne County voters checked the no-affiliation box.

Some who choose the “other” category specify official structured party organizations, Crispell said.

For example, the county has 385 members of the Green Party and 1,052 Libertarians.

Another 4,054 voters are registered Independents.

The number of county voters who are not Republican or Democrat continues to rise, increasing from 19,612 in May 2013 to 21,772 on Wednesday.

Tom Baldino, a Wilkes University political science professor, said many of the more than 60 parties written in the other category are not intended to be active organizations that develop platforms and work to recruit candidates and remain active through multiple election cycles.

“Some of those rather outlandish-sounding parties are not serious parties by any stretch of the imagination,” Baldino said. “They write in something cute, and maybe it makes them feel better.”


By Jennifer Learn-Andes

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.