Romney Was Once—Gasp!— a Democrat

Thanks to 1992 voting technicality
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 3, 2012 8:23 AM CST
Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Eagan, Minn., Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(Newser) – If calling Mitt Romney a "Massachusetts moderate" isn't helping Newt Gingrich, here's a new label: "Massachusetts Democrat." The former governor was briefly a Democrat in 1992, thanks to a technicality BuzzFeed discovered related to his much-discussed Democratic primary vote for Paul Tsongas. Romney was registered as an "unenrolled" voter, meaning he wasn't part of a political party. His vote for a Democrat made him one, under 1992 law that has since been changed.

At the time, unenrolled voters were enrolled "into the political party based on the ballot they chose at the presidential primary," says a Massachusetts official. "After voting, a voter would have had to 'unenroll' by completing additional paperwork to go back to their 'independent' status." A Romney aide confirmed his boss' brief stint as a donkey, noting that he "switched back" to unenrolled. Town records say Romney didn't enroll as a Republican until October 1993. Click to see a copy of his original voter registration. (Read more Mitt Romney stories.)

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