USA PSA: Check your voter registration status!

If you are in the US and have not yet voted in a primary election, DOUBLE-CHECK YOUR REGISTRATION!

If you’ve already received a ballot or guide, double-check that it is for the correct party, and that you have been given the correct voting options for the party you chose!

If there is any doubt, REGISTER AGAIN!

If you are in CA, you must be registered for the proper party by MONDAY, MAY 23RD, in order to vote in the June primary!

This is wrong.

In CA, No Party Preference voters ARE allowed to vote in the primaries of several parties!

I received a text message from the volunteers of the Bernie Sanders campaign. At first, I was a little irritated. I like Bernie, and I’m likely to vote for him in the primary, but I don’t recall giving permission for random strangers to act like they know me in text messages.

This one was a reminder that the deadline for registering as Democrat or No Party Preference in time for the California primary is coming up. I sent back that I was already registered Dem – had been for years.

Then it occurred to me, they might know something I don’t.

“Do your records say otherwise??”

“Our records indicate that you are registered with a different party.”

What the hell?

I already had my ballot, having switched to always-mail-in when I changed my address recently. So I got my ballot out, and looked all over. My options for the presidential primary were totally unfamiliar to me. Finally I realized the party label was across the top: GREEN.

Now, at first I thought “Crap. OK, I guess they must have somehow lost the record of me switching from Green to Democrat before Obama was elected. Maybe when I changed my address and ballot preference more recently? Weird.” I dutifully re-registered Democrat, and resigned myself to voting in-person on election day.

Then my friends started reporting in, “This is happening. Voter purges. Mostly democrats. Mostly open or likely Bernie supporters.”

I warned my households “Check your ballots! Make sure they’re for the right thing!”

Dany discovered she’s listed as No Party Preference, when she’s only ever registered Democrat. Moreover, her mail-in ballot says that as NPP she was NOT given the listings for the Democratic primary, despite the voter guide and all other rules explicitly stating that NPP’s CAN vote in the Democratic primary (I don’t know about the others.)

So this is my warning to everyone who reads my blog or other social media, because this is the fastest way I can get the details out to you all: If you are voting in an up-coming primary, double-check that you are not only registered, but that you are registered correctly, and that the ballot you are given has the correct choices on it for how you are registered.


About EmberVoices

Ember Cooke has been a member of Hrafnar and Seidhjallr for more than a decade, where she trained to be a Seidhkona, Galdrakona, and Gythia. She founded the Vanic Conspiracy and made ordination vows to the Vanir and her congregation in the summer of 2013. She has contributed to several publications on Heathen and Northern Pagan subjects and regularly presents rituals and workshops at festivals. Her personal practice is more diverse, as the Vanir have lead her into cross-training and service for the wider Pagan community. This has including medium and servitor training in American Umbanda, clergy training with the Fellowship of the Spiral Path, and jail ministry for local counties. She holds a BA with honors in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University. Ember has lived all her life in the south San Francisco Bay Area, and is intimately bound to the valley of her birth.
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6 Responses to USA PSA: Check your voter registration status!

  1. And the American election process has now become even more convoluted and weird than I already thought it was. No wonder your election season lasts for ever!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EmberVoices says:

      Haha! The *presidential* election season lasts forever, in that the year leading up to the major election is full of staggered primaries, which each combination of party and state runs a little differently. Not sure of the wisdom of that bit, but individuality of states is very important to folks in the US, so there you go.

      The actual election itself isn’t THAT convoluted, but *getting* there is a freakin’ circus.



  2. Widdershins says:

    So, lemme get this straight … you have to tell them who you’re going to vote for BEFORE you can vote? … if so, colour me GOBSMACKED!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EmberVoices says:

      Not exactly. You have to tell them which party’s primaries you want access to, but not which candidate. You do that by either registering as that party, or registering as No Party Preferred, and mailing a request for the primary ballot for the parties that allow NPP votes.

      Or you can just register NPP and show up in person, but I think you do still have to ask the poll person there for the primary ballot you need.

      I don’t know if NPPs can vote in more than one party’s primary, and I don’t know *which* parties in California allow NPPs to vote in their primaries.



  3. Dany Atkins says:

    So, Dany checking in: All of the above is true. What I found out is that if they have you listed (correctly or incorrectly) as “No Party Affiliation,” then you have to mail in a request for a specific party primary ballot. It is NOT automatic. And the deadline is the same as for a new registration. At this point, you are better off re-registering with the party with whom you wish to vote in the primaries. (See the link Ember provided.)

    No matter what your previous registration said, recheck it. Something is definitely not right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EmberVoices says:

      Also, not all county websites will tell you what your party registration is. If you don’t have a ballot or guide, and your county can only confirm THAT you are registered, you are better off registering again as the correct party just in case, and then voting in-person in the correct place and time. :/


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