Saturday, May 14, 2016

No-party Voters Still Face Hurdles

Did you see the Sacramento Bee's front-page headline yesterday (Friday, May 13)?

The news story in the Sac Bee, "No-party voters still face hurdles" does a half-decent job of explaining the deeper problems.  But, it still buried important information back on page 17A, especially the essential requirement that voters who are registered as "No Party Preference" who go to the poll stations on June 7 will not get a Democratic ballot UNLESS they specifically REQUEST one.  The polling place worker will automatically give a NPP-registered voter a ballot without the Demo presidential candidate names unless the voter takes the initiative to ask the poll worker for it.  That may not seem like a big deal, but that overt step in the process may be widely overlooked and cause many problems...such as uninformed poll workers perhaps refusing to give a Demo ballot upon request or backlogs in replacing ballots when NPP voters go into their booth and find that the ballot does not include the Demo presidential candidates, and then having to ask to replace it.

Making it worse, county elections office staff seem to have different perceptions of how the NPP voter request process will work.  One worker told me that any such ballots will be handled as Provisional ballots and counted days later.  Another told me that's not true.  However, the fact that county elections workers can't agree on what's happening suggests potential for problems.

I fear that these procedural details will result in fewer votes for Senator Sanders.  The Calif. Democratic Party organization does not seem concerned about these NPP voter details because they back Clinton and they know that most NPP voters are going to vote for Sanders.

Take a look at Friday's Sac Bee front-page headline if you haven't already seen it.  And let everyone you know who is knocking on doors and registering voters about the requirement that a NPP-registered voter has to take the initiative to request a Demo presidential ballot if they want to vote for Bernie.

Rick Butterworth

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you'd like to vote in the June 7 presidential primary, but are registered as "Decline to State" you must request a ballot for the election. It will not be sent to you, even if you want to vote in the Democratic, American Independent or Libertarian party primary, which you can do.

To request a primary ballot, use the form at

It has instructions about how to fill it out. (Looks to me like you want to wait before sending in the rest of the ballot, too.)

Note: it doesn't list a mailing address where you should return your ballot request!

If you're in Sacramento County, here's the address they tell me where you should return it. (916-875-6155 is the phone number):

County of Sacramento Voter Registration & Elections
7000 65th Street, Suite A
Sacramento, CA 95823