Voters across California will now be able to change their party affiliation on election day under a new law approved just in time for the March 3 Democratic primary.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday afternoon signed the bill into law, which takes effect immediately. It was sponsored by state Sen. Melissa Hurtado, D-Sanger.
Anticipating Long Lines of Residents Registering to Vote
The upcoming primary is also the first time Californians can newly register to vote on election day at polling stations. Anticipating long lines of residents registering to vote, lawmakers from both parties said the new rule will allow already registered voters to bypass those lines if they simply wish to update their party affiliation or residency.
But independent voters, also known as no party preference, in California don’t need to register as a Democrat to vote in the Democratic presidential primary. Those voters can just request a Democratic ballot, either by mail or in person on election day.
No party preference voters make up 28% of California’s registered voters.