Automatic voter registration glitch could have switched some to no party preference

California Connection
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PLACER COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) -- Some Republicans in California are concerned they are not being allowed to register with their party due to some confusion over the state's closed primary system.

With the 2020 election looming, counties are sending out cards asking no party preference voters which ballot they would like to receive. But one party is not available to be chosen -- and it has caused some outrage.

“That card that we sent out and that all counties are sending out to their no party preference voters looks a little confusing because it doesn’t have that choice of a Republican Party to be able to have that crossover voter,” Ryan Ronco from the Placer County Registrar of Voters told FOX40.

But that’s the way it’s supposed to be, according to the Placer County’s Registrar of Voters.

Ronco said that’s because California’s Republican Party has a closed primary, which means only registered Republicans can participate.

The Democrat, Libertarian and American Independent parties allow crossover voters. The mailers were meant to solicit which ballot no party preference voters would like for this election cycle.

“With automatic voter registration, we’ve noticed anybody that’s interacted with the Department of Motor Vehicles since April of last year has the potential, at least, of having been moved from their party preference into a no party preference status," Ronco said.

In his county alone, Ronco told FOX40 he has dealt with thousands who discovered their preference had been altered and then had to fix it.

"We want people to be able to vote the party preference ballot of their choice," he said. "We're definitely not going to deny anybody."

Those who have questions about their registration status should contact their local registrar of voters.

FOX40 reached out to the DMV for comment but has not heard back.

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