Decline To State Problems

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Non-partisan voters were allowed to cast a ballot in the Democratic and American Independent primaries. But there were reports that some poll workers didn’t offer the partisan ballots – while others did. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen says the law requires counties to let voters know their options by mail...but not necessarily at the polling place: “California law doesn’t specifically say that poll workers have to inform voters. It does rely on voters to know their rights. In my opinion we need to do a better job of telling voters at the polling place what their rights are.” Bowen says she’ll be exploring possible legislation to make the law more specific. She says some county elections workers were concerned that offering “decline to state” voters a Democratic or American Independent ballot might appear partisan – or look like electioneering.