Coast News

Cross-Over Voting Deadline is March 31

The Presidential Primary races may have been playing out on TV like some bad reality show, but time is fast approaching for SLO County residents to get serious about voting in the June 7 Primary Election.

County Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong’s Office is sending out letters to “unaffiliated” voters countywide letting them know the rules for the upcoming primary, including those who are permanently registered for mail-in ballots.

“Unaffiliated,” means voters who are registered with a party that “is not qualified in California or have declined to state a party preference,” Gong said in a news release.

Such voters will be allowed to “cross-over” for several party ballots, but if they want to vote in the Republican fracas, they have to be registered Republican, as the Grand Old Party and two other parties have declined to allow cross-over voting.

“Only the Democratic, Libertarian and American Independent parties are allowing unaffiliated voters to vote their party ballot,” said Gong. “To vote in the Presidential Primary for the Republican, Green, or Peace & Freedom parties, unaffiliated voters must re-register to vote with that party before May 23.”

Gong said they are sending out more than 20,000 post cards to inform the unaffiliated mail-in voters of the process.

Voters must return the postcards with their choice of party ballot for the June Election by March 31.

“This deadline,” Going said, “allows time for the voter record to be updated so we can ensure the voter receives the correct ballot in the first mailing of vote by mail ballots which is scheduled for May 9.”

To help voters choose party ballots, a list of partisan candidates will be posted on the Secretary of State’s website (see: Call the County Elections Office at 781-5228 for more information.

With regards to the other big Congressional seats and the U.S. Senate seat, in particular the 24th District Congressional race, the State has an open primary system, wherein all candidates appear on the ballot with the Top 2 vote-getters running off in November, unless someone gets more than 50-perent of the votes.