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New Voters Confused By Primary Voting System

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio
 

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Despite some scattered incidents, yesterday’s California primary election appears to have largely been run without major legal violations. But Kim Alexander with the California Voter Foundation says voting can still be very confusing – particularly for new voters, Californians who vote by mail, and voters registered without party preference.

For example, “no party preference” voters with mail ballots are allowed to exchange their nonpartisan ballots for some parties’ presidential primary ballots. But that rule appears to have been inconsistently enforced yesterday – and “no party preference” voters had an easier time in some counties or polling places than in others.

“In many ways, California is better than other states when it comes to voter rights,” Alexander says. “But I think in some ways, we’re worse, because we have 58 counties that are running 58 different voting systems." She says that, while each county must adhere to statewide laws, the services available to voters can be "very uneven" between counties.