Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) filed a federal lawsuit last Friday to extend California’s May 23 deadline for independent or “no party preference” voters to request a ballot to vote or change their registration to the Democratic Party until the day of the June 7 primary.
According to Southern California Public Radio, the lawsuit was filed by attorneys William Simpich and Stephen Jaffe on behalf of the Voting Rights Defense Project. SCPR notes that the lawsuit argues that “no party preference” voters were not adequately informed by the state that in order to vote in the primaries for the Democratic, American Independent and Libertarian parties, they must request a “crossover ballot.” As such, they are being disenfranchised
The lawsuit names Secretary of State Alex Padilla as well as Alameda County and San Francisco County election officials as respondents.
Sanders, himself, told the massive crowds that the political revolution they are seeking won’t be possible unless they show up and vote. His campaign has recently made a push to reach out to California’s independent or “no party party preference” voters.
“There’s mass confusion,” Simpich told the Los Angeles Times. “This is a situation that really shouts out for some uniformity.”
At several recent Sanders rallies in Southern California, volunteers were working under deadline to register both unregistered and “no party affiliation” voters.
The Times writes that as of last week, only 9% of “no party preference” voters in Los Angeles County had been mailed a Democratic ballot. It adds that approximately 23% of Orange County’s “no party preference” voters have asked for partisan ballots.
Unlike the Democratic Primary, only registered Republicans may vote in the GOP’s primary in June.
Although no court date has yet been set for the requested change, a hearing will likely be held before June 7.
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