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California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new bill into law this month that changes the way voters can register their party affiliation for primary elections. Under this new measure, residents of the Golden State will be able to change parties at any time during the final two weeks before the vote, including on the day of the election. The stated purpose of this law is to boost election turnout, but what it will really do is make it easy for “Operation Chaos” maneuvers to crop up in congressional races around the state. (The Hill)
California’s governor signed a bill last week that allows state residents to switch their party affiliation on election day, a change expected to increase primary election participation.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed the bill Thursday, allowing voters to fill out a short form at any point in the last two weeks before an election including the day itself declaring their party affiliation.
The bill ensures that a resident may vote in their intended party’s primary even if they miss the official registration deadline, presuming that their application is accepted by county officials.
Describing this as a method of increasing voter turnout seems deceptive at best. In addition to motor voter, California already had same-day registration, allowing people to cast provisional ballots if they forgot to register earlier. There was no barrier to any legal resident (and in some cases, illegal ones) being able to show up at their precinct and vote.
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