a registered Democrat

Deinonychus

Senior Member
Chinese-Mandarin
"It's a slap in the face," said Gabe, a registered Democrat who voted for Mr Biden in 2020 and is part of Railroad Workers United, an informal group that raised concerns over the issue. "People are scared for their jobs ....We need protection."
Source:Rail strike is cancelled - at the cost of paid sick leave

Hello, everyone!
What does the word “registered Democrat” mean here? ( especially the word “registered”)
Does it mean he is
a) a party member of the US Democratic Party
or
b) a supporter of the party
?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    In order to vote in the US, one must register, i.e. sign up with local authorities.
    In most, if not all, states, one has the ability to state a preference for party or declare oneself to be unaffiliated.
    I guess that technically makes one a "member" of a party, but in reality, it's just stating a general preference, there are no dues, for example.
    Added: It also enables a voter to vote in the primary election for that party, i.e. selecting candidates.
     

    Deinonychus

    Senior Member
    Chinese-Mandarin
    I got it. Thank you very much, sdgraham!😄
    People who live in one-party states may be unfamiliar with it.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Some states don't require party registration to vote in primaries (which is an election to select candidates for the various parties), but you do have to pick only one party's ballot to select candidates from on the day of the election. You can't do more than one.

    In other states you have to have your party preference registered and on file and can only vote using that party's primary ballot. As sdgraham said, it doesn't really make you a "member" of the party in any real way. You don't have to pay a party membership fee and you don't have any responsibilities or commitments. You also don't have to vote for that party's candidates in the general election that comes later. You are always free to vote for anyone in the general election.

    In the story, saying that he is a "registered Democrat" tells the reader that the reasonable expectation is that he is a natural supporter of the Democrats and of Joe Biden, so it is significant that he is criticizing him.
     
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