Ron Hurst of Modesto was as confused as other voters who participated in the June 7 primary election. Arriving at his polling place, Hurst was told by an election worker that he was an inactive voter and had to vote with a provisional ballot, which would not be counted with the election day returns. An inactive voter? Hurst, 29, said he has voted in every election since turning 18, and certainly voted for himself when he ran for a Modesto City Council seat last November. “I am disturbed by how much was wrong with this year’s election,” Hurst said. “I know some people who were registered as Democrats and were sent the Republican primary forms.” Plenty of voters from across California were confused by the primary election. The nonpartisan Election Protection voter hotline, a nationwide service, received more than 1,300 calls from voters June 7, with the complaints ranging from polls that opened late to failed voting equipment, issues with mail ballots and election workers providing inaccurate information. More than half the complaints were from California.
In Stanislaus County, some elements of the state’s presidential primary didn’t make sense to residents, such as crossover voting. People registered under “no-party preference” were allowed to cross over and vote for a presidential candidate who was a Democrat, American Independent or Libertarian, but they needed to obtain a ballot for that particular party.
Crossover voting did not change their registration status. However, some nonpartisans who wished to vote for a Republican presidential candidate were upset to learn they needed to re-register as Republican.