NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s a critical voter registration deadline coming up this week for next year’s elections for governor and state legislature in New York.

If you’re registered as an Independent or you want to switch your party to be able to vote in the 2018 primaries next September you need to submit a new registration by this Friday.

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“New York is the only state that has this distant of a deadline for changing your party registration,” Susan Lerner with the good government group Common Cause New York said, adding that they get flooded with complaints every year from people who didn’t know that. “We get so many complaints from people who think that they have been forward-thinking, in January and February of the primary year they try to change their party registration.”

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So why is it like this?

“People in the political parties are terrified — and October the 13th is a scary day, of course — that people might change their party registration close to the primary and that there might be party raiding,” Lerner said.

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She added that in states with shorter deadlines there’s no evidence of the large scale raiding the parties are afraid of.