Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump has received a lot of scrutiny for donating to Democratic politicians in the past. But Republican primary voters may be curious to know why one of his chief rivals, Dr. Ben Carson, officially joined the Republican Party less than one year ago.

The American Mirror has obtained several public records that show Dr. Ben Carson, one of Trump’s chief rivals, did not affiliate with the Republican Party until he changed his voter registration on October 31, 2014.

Carson filed this “record update/change” on that date to change his party affiliation to “Republican Party of Florida” — less than six months before declaring his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president.

Ben Carson FL party affiliation change redact
Source: Palm Beach County Board of Elections

The office of Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections confirms, “Dr. Carson was previously registered with a minor political party: Independence Party of Florida (IDP).”

Other records show Carson was also registered as an independent in Maryland. According to the Baltimore County Board of Elections, despite registering to vote in that county in 2001, Carson only voted in the general elections of 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 — and never in any primaries.

Ben Carson MD voting record
Source: Baltimore County Board of Elections

An application for an absentee ballot from 2006 obtained from the Baltimore County Board of Elections shows Carson declared his party affiliation as “Independent.”

Carson abenstee app
Source: Baltimore County Board of Elections

So does it matter that a leading contender for the Republican nomination for president officially became a Republican only a short time ago?

“You’ll never find a candidate that you agree with one hundred percent,” Texas tea party leader Katrina Pierson tells The American Mirror. “But, he should at least subscribe to your fundamental platform longer than six months prior to seeking to be your national leader.

“Six months prior to Dr. Carson’s announcement, his platform was void of top Republican primary issues including life, the second amendment, and God. It did, however, include sustainable development, social justice, and a 25% tax on all sporting events,” Pierson says, referring to the Independence Party of Florida.

The Carson campaign did not respond to an email seeking an explanation.