If you're so inclined to help your party choose its next candidate for the office of President of the United States then you need to register to vote. The deadline to be included in this year's March 5th Presidential preference primary in Louisiana is February 3rd.

This is Louisiana's only closed primary. Secretary of State Tom Schedler explained to the Louisiana Radio Network what a closed primary is and how this primary will be different from other primaries.

Only Democrats can vote on the Democratic side on those qualified candidates in Louisiana for a Democratic nominee and then on the Republican side the same holds true.

If you're an independent voter the March 5th, the day of the primary, you get to sit this one out.

You still have time if you want to participate in either or, you cant participate in both, but you still can change your party affiliation for that purpose.

Just to be clear that doesn't mean you don't have a reason to go to the polls where you live and cast a ballot on March 5th.

In 24 of the 64 parishes, in addition to presidential preference, there will be other elections going on that everybody can participate in.

Secretary Schedler says you can still register to vote in this upcoming primary or register your change of party affiliation at anytime during the next week and be eligible to vote in the March 5th primary. Registration and party affiliation changes can be made at your local registrar of voters office or by visiting the site set up by the Secretary of State's office at Geaux Vote dot com.