Debra Bowen

Would-be independents joining the American Independent Party could blame California's voter registration card

Would-be independents joining the American Independent Party could blame California's voter registration card

Although Californians now register to vote in more places than ever, most still rely on something that's been around for generations and is increasingly seen as imperfect: the voter registration card.

"I think that it is confusing and somewhat misleading," said Kim Alexander, president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation.

Most of the card is straightforward -- name, address, date of birth -- but one key section requires both close inspection and careful interpretation. There, voters choose whether to join a political party, the equivalent of an electoral fingerprint used extensively by candidates and campaigns.

The problem arises when someone who...

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