Federal lawsuit seeks to extend voter registration in California

Groups faithful to Vermont’s Bernie Sanders filed a lawsuit Friday in federal court asking the state of California extend the voter registration deadline for the Golden State’s June 7 primary from May 30 to election day.

The lawsuit, brought by two unnamed San Francisco voters, the American Independent Party and the Voting Rights Defense Project, cites “widespread confusion” over registration rules which allows voters with no party affiliation to vote for either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton despite not being registered Democrats.

The lawsuit contends election officials in numerous California counties have not sufficiently clarified primary rules to unregistered voters who may request a ballot by mail that they can ask for a ballot with one of the three parties, Democratic, Libertarian and American Independent, on the June 7 ballot.

“There’s mass confusion. This is a situation that really shouts out for some uniformity,” said Oakland attorney, William Simpich, who filed the lawsuit.

Simpich is requesting a judge order state election officials to conduct a massive outreach campaign to explain primary rules to voters to avoid widespread voter disenfranchisement.

The registrar of voters in San Francisco and Alameda counties and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla are named as defendants in the suit.


[Roll Call] [voting-rights-defense-project.org]