Nonpartisan Voters Cannot Vote In Republican Primary
Monday, March 26, 2012
Special Feature KPBS Election Coverage
Nonpartisan voters can request ballots from the Democratic and the American Independent parties, but not the Republican party. And if they don't request ballots in advance, they won't get to vote for any candidate in the June 5 presidential primary.
In the last presidential primary, some nonpartisan voters were confused and even upset because they didn't understand the rules, said Deborah Seiler, the county's registrar of voters. Twenty five percent of voters in San Diego are nonpartisan.
"They will receive a nonpartisan ballot," she said. "It will not have any contest for president on it. This is very important for those one in four voters to understand what their ballot is going to look like.”
“Unless they specifically request a presidential primary that's open to them or they would have to re-register with another party to vote," she added.
The Republican, Libertarian, Peace and Freedom and Green parties require voters to reregister and join them in order to cast a ballot for one of their candidates.
“The parties have the choice. The parties make those decisions,” Seiler said. “It’s not the elections official. We just want the public to be aware of those decisions the parties have made."
Sample ballot information is mailed out in a month. Even though party affiliations must be mailed, voters can check their registration or request to change it online. The cutoff date to change registration is May 21.