The New York Presidential Primary is four weeks away from Tuesday but the deadline to register to vote is this Friday. There's also a rush of voters trying to change party affiliations to vote for certain candidates. As TWC News' Jon Dougherty reports, those looking to change are coming away disappointed.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The 2016 presidential election is far from over, and there's no lack of interest, even in New York.
"The importance of this election and the fact that the New York race is going to matter is really generating interest," said Siena College Research Institute Director Don Levy.
Now four weeks until the state primary, local boards of elections are busy.
"There's been a lot of activity, certainly more than you would normally get," said Albany County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Matthew Clyne.
Clyne said his office has been inundated with calls, emails and people stopping in wanting to register to vote or change political parties.
Governor Andrew Cuomo released Tuesday that New York had more than 40,000 applications filed online before Friday's deadline. However, there's one problem a lot of people are facing: If you're already a registered voter, you can't change parties in time for next month's primary.
"It's been a source of confusion and I think of frustration on the part of many voters," Clyne said. "They latch onto one of these candidates whether it's republican or democrat and they want to express their opinion."
To vote in the upcoming presidential primary, you must be a registered Republican or Democrat. To change, you would have had to requested it at least 25 days before the general election for it to go into effect the following year. That would have been October 9, 2015.
The Board of Elections said you can change your party affiliation at any time, but it won't go into effect until the next election cycle, which some groups called unfair.
"Whatever side you come down on, Democrat or Republican, we don't make it easy for people to go out the same day because they're enthusiastic and want to participate to actually get registered and vote," League of Women Voters of New York Legislative Director Barbara Bartoletti said.
Bartoletti said the League of Women Voters is pushing new voting rules in the state legislature. It hopes this year's high-profile presidential election will bring more awareness and spark change.
Political experts like Levy, meanwhile, said this is one of the most meaningful state presidential primaries in memory.
"Previously, we saw that the race was over by that point, it didn't matter. Right now, in both the Democratic and Republican race, it matters," said Levy.
The latest Siena College Research Institute poll showed New Yorkers Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton ahead of their respective competitors. It will be up to voters on April 19.