SB 696

A Bill to do away with and ban ANY political party whose title has “no party preference” or “decline to state” or the word “independent” or a variation of that word or those phrases. The term No Party Preference on voter registration cards is not considered a political party and will not be affected. For whatever reason is considered to be an “urgency statute” that is immediately enacted once signed by the Governor.

Any party that currently has those phrases must file a change of name notice with the Secretary of State by October 29, 2019. Failure to file a name change by that date would result in the party being disqualified by the Secretary of State by October 30, 2019. See EXAMPLES.

This bill does NOT affect those who chose “No Party/None when registering to vote.

WHAT THE BILL DOES:

If the party you belong to is required to file a Name Change and does so, the Voter is automatically “moved” to the new party name. If any voting restrictions applied under the old name, they will apply under the new name.

If the party you belong to is required to file a Name Change and does not, the Voter will be forcibly reclassified as a No Party Preference. This will restrict the ability of the voter to vote in Presidential Primaries, Central Committee elections. See VOTING RESTRICTIONS.

EXAMPLES:

PARTY NAME CHANGED:

Let’s use the Independent Party as an example.

If I am a registered Independent party voter and the IP files a name change by the deadline of October 29 2019, the following takes place:

1. The party name is updated on any form, list, notice, ballot, publication, or database containing the names of qualified parties.

2. A registration made on a form containing the prior name of the party shall continue to be accepted and a party preference expression made for the party using the prior name remains valid for the purposes of this division until rescinded by the voter.

3. A notice shall be sent informing the voter of the party’s new name and that the voter shall continue to be registered to the party, but under the new name.

The Voter under this circumstance, or the party willing changing their name by the deadline, is automatically put under the new party name until the voter changes their party preference.

PARTY NAME NOT CHANGED:

If the IP Party fails to submit a name change by the deadline the following takes place:

1. The SOS immediately removes the name of the party from any form, list, notice, ballot, publication, or database containing the names of qualified parties.

2. Any voter registered to the party shall be reclassified as a no party preference voter until the voter provides another preference. Any existing list, form, notice, or publication may be altered to comply with this paragraph.

3. A notice shall be sent informing the voter that the party has lost its qualification under the Elections Code and that the voter may select a new party preference, but if the voter fails to do so, the voter shall be considered a no party preference voter.

The Voter under this circumstance would be forcibly reclassified as no party preference (until changed by the voter) and should educate themselves on voting restrictions if any.

VOTING RESTRICTIONS:

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES:

You must be registered with the party of the candidate you wish to vote for.

Unaffiliated aka “no party preference” or “decline to state” are given a nonpartisan ballot, containing only the names of all candidates for nonpartisan offices and any ballot measures to be voted upon at the primary election.

You may also be able to request the ballot of one of the political parties at the polls or on your vote-by-mail ballot request form. Each political party has the option of allowing decline-to-state voters to vote in their Presidential primary.

CALIFORNIA STATEWIDE PRIMARIES:

You may vote for any candidate regardless of party affiliation.

CENTRAL COMMITTEES:

You must be registered with the party.