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Shasta County voters: party affiliation not recognized ahead of primaries

Johnathan Thurman and others have told us that they aren’t sure what happened. But we uncovered that the DMV could the issue.

Posted: Dec 10, 2019 6:34 PM
Updated: Dec 10, 2019 6:45 PM

SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. - Some voters in Shasta County have reached out to Action News Now to say they are mad.

They are claiming that their party affiliation has disappeared and they are now considered “Non-Party Affiliated".

Johnathan Thurman told Action News Now Reporter Spencer Joseph it happened to his son.

“My son received a card in the mail from the Shasta County registrar of voters and I happened to look at the card and the card had every party but republican on it,” said Thurman.

But his son was supposed to be registered as a Republican.

Below is the card that was only supposed to go to people who had no party preference, which is the largest growing number of new voters.

“There are a lot of young voters out there that really don’t know any better… they receive some like this that say hey here’s 4 parties choose one, said Thurman.

The problem could lie with the DMV motor voter program launched in 2018.

According to the Associated Press last year, DMV officials claimed one error may have prevented nearly 600 people from voting and another may have allowed about 1,500 people, including non-citizens, to incorrectly register to vote.

Those issues prompted a statewide audit, and while it didn’t find any major errors, it only looked at a small time frame.

Anita Gore, Deputy Director for the California Department of Motor Vehicles Office of Public Affairs told Action News Now: The DMV is not aware of a computer glitch or system issue related to voter registration. DMV worked in partnership with the Secretary of State’s office to implement improvements to the party preference portion of the registration process in January 2019.

Cathy Darling-Allen is the Shasta County Clerk and Registrar of Voters and said, “We have heard from some voters were going to the DMV that they were registered with a particular party and they got one of these postcards.”

This problem also affects Republicans much more because they have a closed primary.

Thankfully the fix is easy since a new law in California allows you to register up until the day of the March 3rd Primary.

"Up until Election Day, and including Election Day, you could still change your party so you could still cast a vote for the party of your choice,” said Darling-Allen.

Despite the fix being relatively easy, some say the whole system is becoming to complicating including Johnathan Thurman.

“He [Thurman’s Son] had no idea absolutely no idea that was going to have to reregister it seems to me you know the voter system anymore in California has just gotten way overboard on a lot of things and it’s become so confusing," said Thurman.

To check your voter registration click here.

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