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Parties Clashing As Voter Registration Deadline Draws Near

Audio

Aired 9/24/10

The local Democratic Party is calling out what it says are unethical actions by the local Republican party. The dispute involves money used to register voters.

— The local Democratic Party is calling out what it says are unethical actions by the local Republican party. The dispute involves money used to register voters.

At issue is $150,000 the San Diego County Republican Party received from the California GOP. The money was supposed to go toward a voter registration drive, but in a recent news release the San Diego Democratic Party cited an Associated Press story, saying the Federal Election Commission (FEC) ordered the money be returned to the state GOP. The Democrats said registering voters is a federal election activity and can’t be paid for with state funds.

Mark Standriff with the California Republican Party said the Democrats are mischaracterizing the situation. He said the letter from the FEC did not order the money returned and was just inquiring why the county deposited money from the state GOP.

"But the Democrats ignored these facts because they’re obviously desperate to explain how they lost their status as the largest party in San Diego County," he said.

Standriff said neither the state nor the local Republican Party has been instructed to do anything differently right now.

Jess Durfee with the San Diego Democratic Party says the GOP’s explanation is just a smoke screen. He said his party is just passing the information along.

"What we’re doing is making sure the media here in San Diego and the voting public in San Diego is aware of the activities that the Republican Party is up to," he said.

A recent report from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters shows registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats by about 4,500.

The deadline to register to vote in the November election is October 18.

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