Governor signs new law allowing party change on Election Day


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While the deadline to register to vote in Tuesday’s primary election has come and gone, voters will still be allowed to change their party affiliations and vote for a presidential primary candidate, even on Election Day.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on Feb. 13 that will allow candidates, particularly those running in close races, to court the state’s large number of voters who previously registered with “no party preference.”

There are 9,007 total registered to vote in Colusa County, with 2,153 of them registered with no party preference. In California, 20.4 million people are registered voters, but one in four (25.9 percent) previously declined to register with a party.

California Democrats hope to grab a large cache of delegates up for grabs in the state primary, which was moved up from June.

The Democratic establishment is largely supporting former Vice President Joe Biden, who has endorsements from U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein and Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

In a recent interview with The Sacramento Bee’s California Nation podcast, Biden said he would consider U.S. Sen. Kamela Harris, the former California Attorney General, as a running mate if he wins the primary, or for a cabinet post if elected president in November.

Younger voters have largely pledged their support for Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, who is endorsed by California Assembly members Kansen Chu, Ash Kalra, and Reggie Jones-Sawer.

Pete Buttigieg is endorsed by California Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis.

In order to change parties on Election Day and vote for a candidate running in a state primary race, Gallo-Vasquez said the change can be done at a polling place or the Clerk-Recorder’s Office, located at 546 Jay St., Colusa.

“We have to work out the details on how to train our poll workers on the new way they will have to implement this law at a polling place,” Gallo-Vasquez said. “It will be just a short form that people can fill out, but if there is enough people, then it could lead to a little bit longer lines. Maybe not, but it’s quite possible.” ■