California’s independent voters must request partisan ballot to vote in presidential primary

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — With California’s primary election less than a month away, the Bernie Sanders campaign today tried to reach out to voters from the state capitol.

Sanders himself was not in Sacramento but members of his campaign stopped by the state capitol Thursday.

The campaign is hoping to reach California’s 5.4 million no party preference voters, who have to take an extra step this year to vote in the state’s presidential primary election.

No Party Preference voters can request a Democratic Party ballot but they can’t request a Republican Party ballot. Those voters will have to re-register as Republican if they want to vote in that Primary. 

“These voters matter just like any other voter, they’re the second largest block in the state of California,” said Rafael Navar, California director for Bernie 2020. “They’re bigger than the Republican party, these voters are critical, and that’s why we have a very targeted program to these voters.”

Meanwhile lawmakers Thursday sent the Governor the first bill of the year which would allow voters to change their party preference or their address within two weeks of election day.

“We’re looking in detail at the language now but we are definitely supportive of any efforts to make it as simple as possible for an NPP voter to show up and vote or to get a ballot if they vote by mail,” Navar said. 

The legislation would go into effect immediately with the governor’s signature. 

California is already sending and collecting ballots, even with the March primary weeks away.

Sander’s campaign is now putting resources into educating California voters on the process.

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