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Citizen Voices

Confused? Not My Fault

Interesting to see in the news Tuesday that the Secretary of State is investigating complaints that some voters are making regarding party affiliations. According to the Associated Press report, some voters have complained that their party affiliations were changed when they filed address changes with the DMV.

Having worked at a poll during California's February primary, I can say there was certainly more confusion over party registration than I expected to see.

Not just independents concerned about being unable to vote in the Republican Party's closed primary, but self-professed independents finding themselves registered with the American Independent Party and vice versa. There were probably some confused Democrats, or wannabe Democrats, as well, but they didn't make as much of an impact on me as the others did.


Given that voter confusion in Florida arguably determined the outcome of the 2000 presidential election, I guess it's only natural that election officials are going to have a heightened sensitivity to it during this election cycle. But from where I was sitting, it seemed like a certain percentage of the electorate was going to be confused no matter what precautions were taken.

-Citizen Voices blogger Chuck Hartley is an attorney who lives in Escondido.

Davesnot from Oceanside
April 03, 2008 at 02:53 AM
ah.. but that confused group that would be confused no matter what.. .. what party were they with?

April 03, 2008 at 08:49 PM
It definitely seems like all voting anomalies are being closely scrutinized now. It's far overdue, if you ask me. Greg Palast's book, "Armed Madhouse" pretty much blew the lid off the "caging lists" the RNC employed to throw out Dem votes in 2004. Here's a link to Palast's blog about the 2004 election and how votes of deployed soldiers were discounted in Florida. Very shady stuff... As far as people being confused on voting day, you're title says it all. Some people really want their hands held through any unfamiliar process. Still, it's better people are suspicious rather than assuming "honest mistakes" discounted their votes.


Chuck from Escondido, CA
April 03, 2008 at 11:15 PM
Dave - the problem seemed to be post-partisan, to put it in politically correct terms.

Charles Hartley
April 23, 2008 at 01:33 PM
Interesting article at S.F. Gate on the confusion issue, specifically those who register for the American Independent Party thinking they're registering as "Independents." Actually, there is no way to register as independent - the legally correct term is "decline to state."