Thursday, June 16, 2022

Can Republicans Vote In California Democratic Primary

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No Party Preference Voters: Pay Attention

Registered Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Libertarians and other party members, rest assured. You are guaranteed a primary ballot with all of your partys presidential contenders on it.

But voters who dont belong to a political party the fastest growing voting block in the state will have to navigate a more daunting set of obstacles to cast a presidential primary vote.

Some parties have members only policies:

  • The Republican Party
  • The Green Party
  • The Peace and Freedom Party

If you want to vote in one of these three primaries, youll have to join that party. You cant do it as a member of any other party, or even as a no party preference independent. No exceptions. 

The following three parties do allow political independents to cast ballots in their presidential primaries :

  • The Democratic Party
  • The Libertarian Party
  • The American Independent Party

But and this is an important caveat these voters do have to specifically request the ballot they want.

For those who vote in person, this is a cinch. Just go into your polling place when its time to vote and ask. But independents who vote by mail need to let your county know which ballot they want ahead of time.

Maybe you received a postcard that looks like this:

And if youve already received a ballot in the mail and were disappointed by the lack of presidential candidates, do notfill it out. You can always request a new ballot, but trying to vote twice is frowned upon .

California And Primary Election Alternatives

A “modified closed primary” was in effect in from 2001 to 2011. Each political party could decide whether or not they wish to allow unaffiliated voters to vote in their party’s primary. This appeared to avoid the constitutional concerns of both the open and the closed primary. In the 2004 and 2006 primary elections, the Republican, Democratic, and American Independent parties all opted to allow unaffiliated voters to request their party’s ballot. However, since the 2008 presidential primary election, only the and American Independent parties have taken this option, while the Republican party has not.

In 2011, the state adopted a “modified open primary”. Individual citizens may vote for any candidate, and the top two candidates regardless of party will advance to the general election. The Presidential election is exempt from this voting method as it is a contest for delegates rather than a direct election for an office.

A potential side effect of the open primary is that parties that run more candidates may find themselves at a disadvantage, since their partisan supporters’ votes will be split more ways in the primary and thus those candidates may have a harder time reaching the top-two ranking when competing with parties that run fewer candidates.

No Party Preference Additional Questions


The Secretary of States Office has advised the Registrar of Voters that three qualified parties are allowing voters not affiliated with a political party to vote for their parties candidates in the 2020 Presidential Primary Election.  The parties allowing non-affiliated voters to do so are the Democratic PartyAmerican Independent Party, and the Libertarian Party.

The following are frequently asked questions concerning No Party Preference Voters:

As a No Party Preference Voter, why did I receive a postcard?Since you are registered as No Party Preference, you received a postcard explaining that you have the option to vote for candidates of qualified parties if they notified the Secretary of State that they are allowing non-affiliated voters to do so. You can request a vote-by-mail ballot from the Democratic Party, American Independent Party or the Libertarian party by returning the postcard, or . You can also call our office to make this request at 714-567-7600.

Why are only three parties listed on the postcard and not all the other qualified parties, including the Republican, Green, and Peace and Freedom Parties?Only the Democratic, American Independent, and Libertarian Parties notified the Secretary of State that they are allowing non-affiliated voters to vote for candidates of their parties. 

If I am a No Party Preference voter, how can I request a ballot for the Republican Party, Green Party, or Peace and Freedom Party?You need to re-register with that party. Click

Start Your Day With Laist

If you’re confused about how to vote in California’s presidential primary, you’re in good company with Susan Sarandon.

Just one problem: She’s wrong. Political independents do not need to switch parties to vote in the Democratic presidential primary — the just need to request a Democratic ballot first.

This is important.

Susan Sarandon January 4, 2020

To be fair, the minutiae of California election law is really confusing! And Sarandon is hardly alone. Election day in California is March 3, but already social media has become a bipartisan chorus of wrongness about the what, how and why of the state’s presidential primary.

If you’re unsure about how to get the ballot you want, why things here are so complicated or what presidential primaries are all about, here are four things to know before you vote:


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California voters can be forgiven for assuming that political party registration doesn’t really matter.

In 2010 voters backed a measure to create the state’s nonpartisan “top two” election system, in which all primary voters fill out a ballot with every candidate on it — regardless of either the voter’s or the candidate’s political party. The top two winners then move on to the general election ballot — even if they’re both from the same party.

In races for state legislative and congressional seats, the top two method will still reign on the 2020 ballot.

L.A. County voters:

            How The Primary Works

            California Primary 2020: Why independents can vote for ...

            California uses a system, in which all candidates appear on the same ballot. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, move on to the general election. In states that do not use a top-two system, all parties are usually able to put forward a candidate for the general election if they choose to.

            Unlike the top-two format used in some states , a general election between the top two candidates in California occurs regardless of whether the top candidate received 50 percent of the vote in the first round of elections.

            As of 2019, California was one of three states to use a top-two primary system. Washington used the system for congressional and state-level elections, and Nebraska utilized a top-two system for its nonpartisan state legislature.

            Voting In Presidential Primary Elections

            Voters who registered to vote without stating a political party preference are known as No Party Preference voters.  NPP voters were formerly known as “decline-to-state” or DTS voters.

            For presidential primary elections: NPP voters will receive a non-partisan ballot that does not include presidential candidates.  A nonpartisan ballot contains only the names of candidates for voter-nominated offices and local nonpartisan offices and measures. However, NPP voters may vote in a political party’s partisan election if the political party, by party rule duly noticed to the Secretary of State, authorizes NPP voters to vote in the next presidential primary election. An NPP voter may request the ballot of one of the political parties, if any, that authorizes NPP voters to vote in the presidential primary election.

            No Party Preference Voters

            Voters not affiliated with a qualified political party may vote a ballot of a qualified political party allowing participation by non-affiliated voters.

            For the 2020 Presidential Primary Election, the following parties have agreed to allow non-affiliated voters to vote their partys ballot for the President of the United States contest:

            Democratic Party

            American Independent Party

            Libertarian Party

            NOTE: The other qualified parties did not agree to allow non-affiliated voters to vote their partys ballots.

            Beginning in 2020, all voters will automatically receive a vote-by-mail ballot.


              If you choose to vote in person at a Vote Center beginning on February 22, 2020Voting in the Green, Peace and Freedom, or Republican Party Primary


              Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act And Voter

              The Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act, which took effect January 1, 2011, requires that all candidates for a voter-nominated office be listed on the same ballot. Previously known as partisan offices, voter-nominated offices are state legislative offices, U.S. congressional offices, and state constitutional offices. Only the two candidates receiving the most votesregardless of party preferencemove on to the general election regardless of vote totals.

              Write-in candidates for voter-nominated offices can only run in the primary election. However, a write-in candidate can only move on to the general election if the candidate is one of the top two vote-getters in the primary election.

              Additionally, there is no independent nomination process for a general election. California’s new open primary system does not apply to candidates running for U.S. President, county central committee, or local offices.

              Party-Nominated/Partisan Offices

              Under the California Constitution, political parties may formally nominate candidates for party-nominated/partisan offices at the primary election. A candidate so nominated will then represent that party as its official candidate for the office in question at the ensuing general election and the ballot will reflect an official designation to that effect. The top votegetter for each party at the primary election is entitled to participate in the general election. Parties also elect officers of official party committees at a partisan primary.

              California Independents Can Vote In Democrats 2020 Primary

              SACRAMENTO, Calif. Californias more than 5.6 million independent voters will be allowed to vote in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, but not in the Republican contest, Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Monday.

              The two parties have used a similar setup in recent presidential primaries.

              The states presidential primary will be held on March 3, 2020, known as Super Tuesday, because of the large number of state contests that day. California is one of the biggest prizes, offering nearly 500 delegates in the Democratic nominating contest.

              Independent voters, known in the state as no party preference, make up roughly 28% of registered California voters. But experts predict theyll make up just 15% of the Democratic primary electorate because of extra steps they need to take to get a presidential ballot, said Paul Mitchell, who runs the nonpartisan firm Political Data, Inc., which gathers and sells voter data.

              More independent voters in California lean Democratic than Republican, but more call themselves moderate than liberal or conservative, according to the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California . But Mitchell said the independents who go through the effort of voting in the Democratic contest are likely to be young, more diverse and more progressive.

              But the presidential primary doesnt work that way. Independent voters will need to specifically ask for a Democratic ballot at the polls or by mail ahead of the primary.

              History Of California Statewide Primary Elections

              Until 1996 a closed primary system governed Californias primary elections. In a “closed” primary system only voters registered in a political party could vote that party’s primary ballot. Unaffiliated voters vote only on whatever measures and nonpartisan candidates were on the ballot.

              This system was amended by the passage of Proposition 198 in March, 1996 and changed to a blanket or open primary, in which any voter can vote for any candidate without declaring a party preference. In 1998 the United States Supreme Court declared Californias open primary system unconstitutional saying it violated a political partys First Amendment right of association. The state reverted to using the closed primary system.

              The closed primary system in California was amended in 2000 when Senate Bill 28 implemented a modified closed primary system, which permitted voters who declined to register with any political party to vote for a partys candidates in a primary election if authorized by that partys rules and duly noticed by the Secretary of State.

              Summary Of Changes To Election Dates And Procedures

              California modified its absentee/mail-in and in-person voting procedures for the November 3, 2020, general election as follows:

              • Absentee/mail-in voting: Mail-in ballots were sent to all registered voters in the general election.
              • In-person voting: Counties were authorized to consolidate precincts and defer opening voting centers until the third day before the election.

              For a full timeline about election modifications made in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, .

              How Do I Change My Voter Registration Party In Oregon

              Check with your local election office. You can register there or you may be able to register online, at the Department of Motor Vehicles, or using the National Mail Voter Registration Form. Your election office may send you a voter registration card listing your polling place. On Election Day, that’s where you’ll go.

              Fuck The Republican Party: How To Think About Your June Primary Vote In California

              Republican National Committee sues California to halt vote ...

              May 13, 2018·11 min read

              Unlike states controlled by Republicans, California makes it as easy as possible to vote, and voter registration is at essentially an all-time high: 75% of eligible voters are registered. This is likely a result of reforms like automated voter registration when you get or renew a drivers license and pre-registering 16- and 17-year-old drivers to vote. Compare this to North Carolina, where Republicans are doing their best to protect an electoral map intentionally gerrymandered to marginalize black voters. (Fuck North

              Voting In Primary And Caucus Elections

              States choose a candidate to run for president through primary elections, caucuses, or both. Depending on your states voting rules, your states primary or caucus elections can be open, closed, or a combination of both. The type of primary or caucus your state holds can affect your voting eligibility:

              • During an open primary or caucus, people can vote for a candidate of any political party.

              • During a closed primary or caucus, only voters registered with that party can take part and vote.

              • Semi-open and semi-closed primaries and caucuses are variations of the two main types.

              Sanders Warns California Primary Could Disenfranchise His Independent Base

              OAKLAND Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders charged Friday that California’s primary system threatens to disenfranchise millions of independent voters whose support he has cultivated in the nation’s most populous state.

              Sanders said Friday during a press conference in Santa Ana that he and his team have been campaigning hard to reach Californias 5.3 million “no-party-preference” voters, who now represent the second largest voting bloc in the state at 25.9 percent ahead of Republicans, who comprise 23.7 percent.

              But in California, where voting has already started ahead of the March 3 election, the Vermont senator said he’s concerned that independents are not yet turning out in large numbers.

              Each party establishes its own presidential primary rules. In California, Democrats allow independents to participate if those voters request a Democratic ballot, while Republicans have a closed system that requires voters to re-register with the GOP.

              “Unfortunately, under the current NPP participation rules, we risk locking out millions of young people millions of young people of color and many, many other people who wanted to participate in the Democratic primary but may find it impossible for them to do so,” he said. “And that seems to me to be very, very wrong.”

              Sanders himself has long been registered as an independent while serving in Congress, but he caucuses with Democrats and has filed as a Democrat to run twice for president.

              How To Vote If You’re Npp

              If you’re registered as NPP and are signed up to vote by mail, check your mailbox , because you’ve probably received a postcard from your local county election office asking which party’s ballot you want.

              If you want to vote in the Democratic, Libertarian or American Independent Party primary by mail, you’ll need to return that postcard with your selection. If you lost your postcard, get in touch with your county elections office, which can help get you a new one in time to vote.

              If you want to vote in one of those three primaries in person on Election Day, no problem just show up to your polling place and ask a poll worker for one of those ballots.

              If you want to vote in the Republican, Green and Peace and Freedom Party primaries, you’ll need to re-register with that specific party.

              “We encourage any voter who wants to be part of the process to nominate a Republican for president to register as a Republican,” said Jessica Millan Patterson, chair of the California Republican Party.

              “We strongly believe it is the right and the duty of the Republican Party to follow a process that ensures that Republicans choose who will represent our party at the nominating convention and who is elected to our county central committees an essential role in the infrastructure of our party and a process that takes place during the Republican primary election,” Patterson added.

              More questions? There’s a website for that:

              What Do Party Preferences Mean When Listed With Candidates’ Names On The Ballot What Are The Qualified Political Parties And Abbreviations Of Those Party Names

              The term “party preference” is now used in place of the term “party affiliation.” A candidate must indicate his or her preference or lack of preference for a qualified political party. If the candidate has a qualified political party preference that qualified political party will be indicated by the candidate’s name on the ballot. If a candidate does not have a qualified political party preference, “Party Preference: None” will be indicated by the candidate’s name on the ballot.

              Similarly, voters who were previously known as “decline-to-state” voters are now known as having “no party preference” or known as “NPP” voters.

              Abbreviations for the qualified political parties are:

              • DEM = Democratic Party

              Californias Top Two Primary System

              Voters approved the Top Two Primary system for statewide offices in June 2010. With the Top Two Primary, all candidates running for an office are listed on one ballot, regardless of their party preference. A candidates party has no impact on how the election is conducted or who is allowed to advance to the General Election. Instead, candidates go on to a run-off election based solely on how many votes they receive in the Primary.

              The two candidates who receive the most votes qualify for the general election, hence the name Top Two.

              • It does not matter if one candidate receives a majority of the votes cast: the top two vote getters always advance to the general election.
              • Even if only one or two candidates are running for a Top Two office, there will still be a primary election for that office.
              • Because candidates are not appearing on the ballot representing a party, it is possible for two candidates from the same party to be the top two vote-getters and advance to the General Election.

              The Top Two Primary applies to most of the offices that were previously known as partisan and are now known as voter-nominated offices. In California these offices include:

              • United States Senators

              What Else Do I Need To Know

              While the technical deadline to register to vote is Feb. 18, voters can register all the way through Election Day. Their registration will be conditional, meaning their vote won’t be counted until elections officials can verify that they are eligible to vote.

              Contact info for county elections offices is available at

              Can No Party Preference Vote In California Primary

              No voter may vote in the primary election of any political party other than the party he or she has disclosed a preference for upon registering to vote. Under the California constitution, political parties are not entitled to formally nominate candidates for voter-nominated offices at the primary election.

              More To The Story In California 2020

              Question: Who Are The Democratic Candidates For California ...

              The coronavirus pandemic and its devastating economic fallout are two major issues that have an impact on the election. NBC News is tracking and updating daily the number of coronavirus related deaths in each state and U.S. territory, as well as the jobless claims as reported weekly by the Department of Labor that counts how many people have filed for unemployment benefits.

              How Are Presidential Primary Elections Conducted In California

              Qualified political parties in California may hold presidential primaries in one of two ways:

              • Closed presidential primary – only voters indicating a preference for a party may vote for that party’s presidential nominee.
              • Modified-closed presidential primary – the party also allows voters who did not state a party preference to vote for that party’s presidential nominee.

              If a qualified political party chooses to hold a modified-closed presidential primary, the party must notify the California Secretary of State no later than the 135th day before Election Day.

              Voters who registered to vote without stating a political party preference are known as No Party Preference voters. For information on NPP voters voting in a presidential primary election, please see our webpage on No Party Preference Information.

              Independents In California Can Vote Republican In 2020 Presidential Election

              CLAIM: All California voters if you are registered to vote as an independent you will not be able to vote Republican come 2020. You must go online and change to Republican. California changed the rules and is hoping no one figures it out in time. 

              APS ASSESSMENT: Partly false. The post does not apply to the general election this fall. 

              THE FACTS: During Californias presidential primary election on March 3, independent voters also known as no party preference voters could vote in the Democratic presidential primary without changing their party affiliation, but not in the Republican primary. A post which circulated at the time of the primary is recirculating now to make it appear as though Californias independent voters will not be able to vote Republican in the general election unless they change their party affiliation to Republican. 

              California voters please read, says a June 6 Facebook post, featuring a text post spreading the false information about independent voters. The post had more than 5,000 shares. 

              The California Secretary of States office confirmed to the AP that independent voters were only barred from voting Republican in the presidential primary. During the general election in November they can vote for a candidate belonging to any party.



              Heres more information on Facebooks fact-checking program:

              Primary Elections In California 2018

              State political party revenue

              California voters headed to the polls June 5 to pick their general election candidates for state executive offices, all 80 seats in the state Assembly, 20 of the 40 seats in the state Senate, all 53 U.S. House seats, and one of their U.S. Senate seats.

              Donald Trump was a major factor in the primaries. In , Trump received 31.6 percent of the state’s popular vote, less than any Republican candidate since 1856.

              Democrats touted their opposition to his policies. Some candidates sought to limit their association with the president. Gubernatorial candidate John Cox said that he was “not the same kind of person” as Trump days after receiving his endorsement.

              The primaries also featured battles between the mainline and progressive wings of the state’s Democratic Party. The split between the two factions played out in the party’s annual convention, where delegates were unable to agree on an official endorsement in either the gubernatorial or the senatorial elections.

              In the U.S. Senate primary, five-term Dianne Feinstein faced nearly 30 declared challengers, including state Senate PresidentKevin de Leon . The California Nurses Association, which was in the state’s single-payer healthcare debate in 2017, backed Leon, while Feinstein had endorsements from EMILY’s List, the Human Rights Campaign, and political figures including Barack Obama , Joe Biden , and Nancy Pelosi .

              The Presidential Primary Will Not Use The Familiar Top Two Ballot

              California voters can be forgiven for assuming that political party registration doesnt really matter.

              In 2010 voters backed a measure to create the states nonpartisan top two election system, in which all primary voters fill out a ballot with every candidate on it regardless of either the voters or the candidates political party. The top two winners then move on to the general election ballot even if theyre both from the same party.

              In races for state legislative and congressional seats, the top two method will still reign on the 2020 ballot. 

              But when you vote in the presidential primary, its back to the old partisan system: Democrats on the Democratic ballot, Republicans on the Republican ballot, and so on.

              So while voting in California usually goes like this under the top two:

              In the presidential primary, it looks a little more like this:

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