GOP Bans Independents
from Voting Republican
- As the California GOP keeps shrinking and shrinking we see the corrupt Elites that run this clown house of a party keeping millions of independent voters from voting Republican in the primary. After all who needs new voters?
(Bill Moyers.com) - Though California has long been a grand prize of presidential campaigns — “the big enchilada,” as Richard Nixon put it — in most elections, the state’s June primary has kept its voters from having much say in picking the presidential nominees.
But in a year when Golden State voters could well determine whether Donald Trump gets enough delegates to win the Republican presidential nomination, party officials are limiting who can participate in their presidential primary. In doing so, they appear to be operating in express opposition to the will of California voters.
The brewing controversy has implications not just for the Republican nomination fight but for a national effort to reform what many critics regard as an exclusionary primary process that depresses voter participation and encourages hyper-partisanship.
California has been in the vanguard of the reform effort. Under Proposition 14, approved by state voters in 2010, all candidates, regardless of party, run in the same primary in which all voters, regardless of party, get to cast ballots. The top two vote-getters advance to the general election— a move with the stated aim of encouraging the election of more moderate, less extreme candidates.
|Independents will not|
be able to vote for
The system covers elections for most offices, including US Senate, Congress, governor and state legislature. But not presidential primaries. The rules for those contests are left up to the parties, and this year California’s Democrats and Republicans have decided to play by different sets of rules. Those differences mean more than twice as many Californians, 11.5 million, will be eligible to vote in the Democratic primary as in the Republican primary, 4.8 million.
Many registered voters may not realize they can’t cast the ballot they want until it is too late.
“Independent voters, some of them are going to face a rude awakening when they’re used to being able to vote for whoever they want but cannot do that for the presidential primary,” said Richard Hasen, elections expert at the University of California-Irvine law school. “I think people are going to be complaining, ‘What do you mean I don’t get this ballot?'”
The state Republican Party allows only registered Republicans to cast ballots for the party’s presidential nomination, while the Democratic Party allows independent voters as well as registered Democrats to cast ballots in the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. As in other states, each party selects how its delegates are awarded based on the voting.
Democrats have 43 percent of California’s registered voters, or 7.4 million, according to figures from the secretary of state’s office. The party exercised its right under state law to open the primary to another 4.1 million voters – those registered as having no party preference. Independents are the fastest growing group of voters in California. Since 2008, their numbers have increased by more than 1 million.
The once dominant Republican party has seen its registration decline to 4.8 million. The decision to hold a closed presidential primary means that fewer than 28 percent of the state’s 17.3 million registered voters are eligible to make the potentially momentous decision about Trump. Pitney theorizes it could hurt the insurgent by limiting his ability to draw new voters into the process. “In other states Trump has tended to do better among people who were not registered Republicans,” he said.
State Sen. Anthony Cannella, a Republican from Ceres in the Central Valley, said in a statement released by the Independent Voter Project that “the state shouldn’t be in the business of disenfranchising voters who’ve chosen to not belong to a party from voicing their opinion in the presidential primary.”
California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte, a former state senator, declined to be interviewed for this article.
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