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Politics California voters can now switch party registration on election day

13:10  14 february  2020
13:10  14 february  2020 Source:   sfchronicle.com

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California voters will be able to change their party affiliation and update their address at polling stations on election day under a new law approved in The change was particularly sought as it will allow the state’s 5.6 million independent voters to register with a party by signing off on only one form

{{featured_button_text}}. 1 of 3. FILE - In this June 5, 2018 file photo, voters mark ballots at a polling place in the library at the Robert F. Kennedy Elementary School in Los Angeles. California voters will be able to change their party affiliation and update their address at polling stations under a new law

SACRAMENTO — Californians will be able to update their party registration on election day, allowing independent voters to participate in the upcoming Democratic and Republican presidential primaries.

“I Voted” stickers at a polling station at UC Irvine in November 2018.© Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images

“I Voted” stickers at a polling station at UC Irvine in November 2018.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Thursday simplifying the process for voters to update their party preference or address at any point in the final two weeks before an election, until the polls close. SB207 allows voters to fill out a short form to amend their registration information at their voting location or the county registrar’s office, rather than requiring them to reregister and take a conditional ballot.

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(AP) — California voters will be able to change their party affiliation and update their address at polling stations on election day under a new law approved in time for the March 3 The upcoming primary is also the first time Californians can newly register to vote on election day at polling stations.

Your election office may send you a voter registration card listing your polling place. On Election Day , that’s where you’ll go. Learn more about voting at USA.gov/ voting . Voter Registration Deadlines. Every state except North Dakota requires citizens to register if they want to become voters .

Voter registration closes 15 days before an election. But this year, for the first time, Californians will be able to conditionally register to vote on election day at any polling place in the state, and in the two weeks leading up to the March 3 primary election.

The state tested conditional registration in 2018 and saw lines stretch for hours in some places as new voters showed up to participate in a midterm election with historic turnout. Supporters said the new system would reduce wait times and confusion at the ballot box, especially for the growing number of Californians registering with no party preference.

Independents must request a ballot to vote in the Democratic primary and are blocked from the Republican primary.

Alexei Koseff is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: alexei.koseff@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @akoseff

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