Democracy Now! turned its attention to California’s primary Tuesday, focusing on the excitement surrounding 600,000 new registered voters in the last two months and what that means with the current presidential primary rules in the state.
Host Amy Goodman and Rose Aguilar discussed reports of thousands of voters being excluded from the presidential primary due to broad confusion over the rules; especially, among independent voters new to the process:
- Independent voters are labeled No Party Preference, which becomes confusing when there is a party called the American Independent Party. Evidence shows hundreds of thousands of voters mistakenly registered with the party.
- Aguilar mentioned that No Party Preference voters needed to actively request a party ballot or else they received a NPP ballot with no presidential candidates on it.
- An early exit poll found that of 250,000 people who already turned in their ballots, nearly half of the people did not vote for president, likely because they did not request a crossover ballot and were not told their options.
- Many voters casting a ballot by mail reportedly received the wrong ballot for president. If they returned a completed ballot for other statewide races without the presidential race, they lost their right to vote in the presidential contest in 2016.
- Parties dictate the rules for ‘their’ taxpayer-funded presidential primaries, which means the rules can change from one election year to the other. In 2016, independent voters could cast a ballot in the Democratic, Libertarian, and American Independent primaries. Crossover voting between parties is not allowed under the semi-closed rules.