Mariposa Democratic Club Hears from the Registrar of Voters

The Mariposa Democratic Club hosted Mr. Keith Williams, Registrar of Voters for Mariposa County, on April 14, 2012.

While Mr. Williams wears many hats, our primary purpose at this meeting was to hear about the new “open primary” system. Authorized by Proposition 14 in 2010, the open primary means that, for state races, the top two vote getters will advance to the general election – NOT one from each party.  What does this mean? In our area, the race most affected is the race for the 5th Assembly District; there are two Democrats, two Republicans and one Independent running. It is conceivable that November’s ballot could end up being a runoff between the two Republicans, with Independents and Democrats not being represented on the ballot.

Mr. Williams also mentioned that “decline to state - DTS” voters (which is now referred to as “no party preference - NPP”) will not be able to vote for president unless they indicate they want Democratic or American Independent ballot; Republicans do not allow non-Republicans to vote in their presidential primary. Of course, NPP voters can change their registration to Republican if they want to vote in the Republican primary; they just need to do that before the election.

In other topics, Mr. Williams addressed the issue of voter fraud. He says there is very little evidence of any significant level of voter registration fraud. When you register, your name, birth date, social security number, and driver’s license number (if you have one) are sent to the state; the state matches the information against official drivers’ license and social security lists and kicks out any mismatches. If your registration is rejected, the Registrar’s office will contact you to clear up the problem. The “Help America Vote” act requires all states to compare voter registrations to state databases, so all states are now having strict safeguards.

Mr. Williams gave the Club more information re voting and property taxes than can be covered here; he was a great speaker!