SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Just two weeks before the California primary and the state’s voter registration system is being slapped with a lawsuit.
May 23rd is the deadline to register, or make changes, but Bernie Sanders supporters are suing to extend the deadline until Election Day.
Jesus Munguia took off from work to stand in line at the registrar of voters.
The reason? He’s a democrat who got a non-partisan ballot by mistake.
And for the June primary in California, voters who decline to state, or who are independent or with no party preference, have ballots that are blank in the section to vote for president.
Munguia said, “You’re signing up to vote, and then when you get it in and you want to vote for your party and it’s not there, it’s kind of frustrating, yeah.”
Voters who do not identify as Democrats or Republicans are eligible to vote in the California primary, but first they have to request a crossover ballot.
Civil rights attorney Bill Simpich said, “It became clear to me that people were confused if they could vote for president, if they were no party preference.”
Simpich is not only a civil rights attorney, but a Bernie Sanders supporter.
He filed a lawsuit in federal court asking that voter registration be extended from the May 23rd deadline all the way up until election day because he says mass confusion may keep many away from the polls.
“You might write in Bernie or Hillary or anyone else and it won’t count. Or if you do it by mail, you might get frustrated and not mail it in at all,” he said.
One Bernie supporter says he thinks the problem could lead to voter disenfranchisement.
Voter Michael Casas said, “I feel it’s a way of voter suppression. I hate to put that out there but…”
Another who came to change parties from Republican to Democrat says the more open the system, the better.
Voter Chester Thuener said, “If there’s a problem they should fix it, it should be fair for everybody to vote.”
Santa Clara County’s voter registrar says the current rules may not be perfect, but they have been in place for previous presidential primaries.
“it can be confusing to some voters,” Registrar Of Voters Shannon Bushey said.
Bushey said, “The information is out there and we do our best to get the information out there. Some voters may not have noticed but it’s not too late to request a crossover ballot.”
For more information about your registration status go to: www.sos.ca.gov/elections/registration-status/.