American Independent Party Voters in California Mostly Just Screwed Up When They Registered

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I suppose I shouldn’t laugh at this, but the LA Times reports today that the American Independent Party has grown to about 500 thousand members in California since it started up in 1968. Why? A survey suggests that about three-quarters of AIP members thought they were registering as lower-case independents—that is, voters with no party preference. Now that’s a low-information voter.

None of this has anything to do with Bernie Sanders. As you can see, voters declaring no party preference have been on the rise for well over a decade. But it still makes a difference: if you’re independent, you can vote for Bernie in the California primary. If you’re AIP, you can’t. So it’s likely there are upwards of 400 thousand registered voters in California who may be leaning toward Bernie but won’t be able to vote for him. They better re-register quick if they want to feel the Bern.

They won’t, of course. Anyone who made a mistake like this isn’t likely to care enough about Democratic Party politics to bother. Still, it makes you wonder if someone could siphon off, say, Republican votes by starting up the Independent Voters of the Republic Party or something. Worth a try!

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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