Culver City Observer -

Smart And Spicy

Think You're Already REgistered to Vote? HAH!

 


This is the United States, after all, not a banana republic. Yet there've been so many "unusual" things happening in primaries around the country that some think Time Magazine should name "irregularities" as its Person of The Year.

Here in California, our primary election is June 7.

You think you're registered to vote, right? Think again.

I still had some questions after reading the excellent website for voting in LA. There were just a few things I couldn't understand. So I called the Voting Registrar's office to clarify.

They told me, "It's not simple."

Yet their website is clear, with great information.

So I've figured it out. Here's what you need to know:

1. California will have both a Republican Primary and also a Democratic Primary on June 7.

2. The last day to register to vote is May 23. There will be no exceptions. If you're not registered to vote by the end of May 23, you won't be able to vote June 7.

3. If you're a Republican: You must be registered as a Republican to vote in the primary. Republicans don't permit any cross-voting; so if your registration has you down as any party affiliation other than Republican, you will not get a Republican primary ballot. That is also the same for the Green and Peace and Freedom Party.

Voters who registered to vote without stating a political party preference are known as No Party Preference (NPP) voters (NPP voters were formerly known as "decline-to-state" or “DTS” voters).

If you are registered as NPP, and you would like to vote in the Republican primary this year, you must re-register with your party affiliation as Republican. May 23 is the deadline to re-register.

4. If you're registered as NPP, you can vote in the primary of the American Independent Party, the Democratic Party, or the Libertarian Party.

5. If you want to vote in the Democratic Party, here's how to do that: You must be registered as a Democratic voter. *or* you can be registered as NPP, but - you must ask for a "Crossover" Ballot.

The regular ballots for NPP voters will not have the names of the Democratic candidates for President. If you ask for a "Crossover" Ballot for the Democrats, you will be able to vote in the Democratic primary.

You can ask for the Crossover ballot on election day at any polling place, just by asking the voting clerk.

6. If you want to vote by mail, it's a bit more complicated. To vote by mail, if you are NPP, you must be registered by the May 23 deadline. You can register online to vote by mail by May 23; then you can request your Crossover ballot online by May 31.

This is the first time in so many years that California may play a crucial role in choosing the candidates for President.

And it's also the first time with so many irregularities in voting happening all over the U.S.

So how can you be sure you are registered to vote? And how can you be sure no one has changed your party affiliation?

California is helping: Go to http://www.LAVote.net - scroll down, and click "Registration Status." You can actually confirm to yourself that your registration is valid. If you're not online, you can call to check your voting status: (800) 815.2666.

I got curious: Could what we're hearing about in parts of the U.S. happen here?

So I asked Dean Logan, LA County Registrar of Voters, if the "irregularities" that happened in Arizona, New York, Nevada, and so many other cities could happen in LA.

"It's important to know that voting rules and regulations are different in every state," he said. "We feel very confident that the issues highlighted in places like Arizona will not be applicable to California."

Look at all the elections people are doing: You can register to vote online. Or you can go to one of their five county offices and register in person.

I didn't want anyone to be confused, so I asked what they mean by "the last day to register is May 23".

It means, you have until 11:59 p.m. on May 23 to register. You can actually walk into the main office at 12400 Imperial Highway in Norwalk - they will have people there to register you till 11:59 on May 23. The closest place to Culver City where you can register is the Beverly Hills office, open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. till 4 p.m.

You can also get registration forms at the post office and mail your registration.

LA County has over 4,000 square miles. The total population is 10.1 million.

The eligible population of voters is estimated at 6.1 million. There are 4.8 million registered voters as of May, 2016.

I have always regarded my right to vote as a real privilege. I believe we're lucky to be able to vote.

But you can't vote if you aren't registered.

For Republicans, you can confirm, or not, the choices other voters have made.

For Democrats, you'll possibly get to choose who runs for President.

Don't lose your chance to vote on June 7; it's precious.

______________________________________________

Carole Bell 2016 Carole Bell is a writer interested in everything.

You can write to her at: smartspicy1@gmail.com

 

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