Editorial: “No Party Preference” Voters have options

BrandiOrth
By Brandi Orth, Fresno County Clerk/Registrar of Voters

Voters will receive party ballots for the March 2020 Presidential Primary Election. if you are a registered to a specific political party, your ballot will include that party’s Presidential race and Central Committee race.

However, if you are one of the more than 112,000 “No Party Preference” (NPP) – sometimes called “non-partisan” or “decline to state” – your Primary election ballot will not include any Presidential candidates. NPP voters will not be voting for President unless you choose to crossover or re-register. NPP voters will receive a postcard in the mail to request a crossover ballot.

Three parties – American Independent, Democratic and Libertarian – have chosen to allow NPP voters to crossover or request their party’s presidential ballot for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election.

Three parties – Green, Peace and Freedom, and Republican – presidential primaries are open only to voters registered with their respective parties. You can re-register up to and including Election Day to vote in their primaries.

CHECK YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION

You can check your voter status by clicking the “Check your registration status” link located on our website, votefresnocounty.com. This site can also be easily accessed from your mobile device!

To start, you will be asked to enter specific information into our secure website to verify your identity. This information will locate your current voter registration profile and make it available for your review. We encourage you to update your information, if necessary, and instructions on how to do so are provided. Your voter registration information must reflect your current residential address.

The races you are eligible to vote on and what issues appear on your ballot are determined solely on your residential address. For example, if you live in the City of Clovis, you are not eligible to vote on the city council races for the City of Fresno.

A little-known fact: in November 2018 Fresno County had 81 different political districts participate in the election. Each unique combination of races generated 273 customized versions of the ballot to ensure that each voter received the correct ballot material regarding candidates and measures on which you could vote.

UPDATE YOUR SIGNATURE

If you registered many years ago, you may need to update your signature used to verify your Vote-by-Mail ballot. Over time, you may have acquired stylistic changes to your handwriting, or illness may have forced you to adjust your signature. If you think your signature may have changed, contact our office for assistance. A paper voter registration card can be mailed to you and you can easily re-register so that we have a current signature. Every signature is compared before a Vote-by-Mail ballot is counted.

The California Secretary of State offers an online voter registration tool which can be found at registertovote.ca.gov where you may register to vote by entering your specific information. It’s convenient, efficient, and includes a unique way of collecting your signature.

Working in conjunction with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), by providing your California driver’s license number, your specific information will be compared with your information on file with the DMV. Once a match is found, it will pull your signature from the DMV files and send it to the Fresno County Clerk’s office via an encrypted electronic transmission. This signature will become your signature of record for election purposes and will be used to compare your signature on any elections petition you may sign, or ballot you return by mail.

We hope that you will verify your party choice and update your voter information by using our website. If you have any questions or problems accessing this technology, please contact the election office at 559-600-8683 or by email at clerk-elections@fresnocountyca.gov. We want you to receive the ballot related to your choice of party and provide the County Voter Information Guide that is specific to you at your current residential address. Let us help you get ready to make your voice heard in the important upcoming elections.

If you are not a registered voter but would like to be, you may register to vote if you are:

  • a United States citizen;
  • a resident of California;
  • 18 years of age or older on or before Election Day;
  • not currently imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony;
  • or not found by a court to be mentally incompetent.

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