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Romney Was Once—Gasp!— a Democrat

Thanks to 1992 voting technicality
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2012 8:23 AM CST
Romney Was Once—Gasp!— a Democrat
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.

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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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