I don't tread in this forum often but I figured the people that do might be able to answer some political questions I have. I have very little political knowledge so I could be very wrong on anything I say below. Growing up I was mostly taught in school that you vote for the President and whoever gets the most votes wins! Of course the system is slightly more complex than that... then again maybe that was all the attention span I had for politics back then. After watching some of the democratic debates I got to thinking... what if the candidate I like doesn't even get on the ballot? Right now is when we have the widest range of candidates. I'm not particularly democrat or republican. So I did some research on how to get a candidate on the ballot and that seemed to fall into the primaries. I got the impression that if you wanted a specific candidate on the ballot so you could even vote for them (aside from a write in which probably isn't going to win anyway) you need to go to your states primary. I live in Iowa (I hear we're semi important for some reason) and both the democratic and republican caucus are closed caucuses which means I can't really have a say unless I register with one of the parties. At this point I'm still undecided as to which candidate on either side but would like to attend one of the two caucuses once I do decide. Is it possible to register with a given party the day before, the week before, the month before, etc? I understand the desire for a closed caucus but I would like to participate once I figure out the candidate I prefer, not the party. Will the affect me registering for the opposite party at the next election? Or am I completely incorrect in my research and should resume my semi apolitical life?