Carla B. Hass

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Erroneous party preference may have been assigned by Department of Motor Vehicles

(PLACERVILLE, CA) – El Dorado County Registrar of Voters, Bill O'Neill, is alerting voters who receive a mailed postcard from the El Dorado County Election Department indicating they are registered as a No Party Preference (NPP) voter that they may have to re-register.


"We are confident our mailing list of NPP voters is accurate, however, some voters may have had their party preference unknowingly changed as a result of automatic voter registration through the California Department of Motor Vehicles," O'Neill said.  


O'Neill does not know how many voters may have had their party preference changed, but since his office will be mailing approximately 30,000 postcards this Friday, he is urging everyone who receives a postcard to check their party registration and, if they are listed as NPP in error, to re-register with their preferred party so their records are updated before the March 2020 primary.


In 2018, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) launched its Motor Voter program whereby any qualified voter transacting with the DMV for issues such as updating a driver's license, ID card, or change of address had the option to register unless that person opted out.  Some voters may have inadvertently had their party registration changed if they skipped the party preference question. This caused their preference to default to NPP, even if they had previously been registered with a different qualified political party.


Regular registration for the March primary ends February 18, 2020. After that, voters may register or reregister at the Registrar of Voters' Office or any Vote Center and cast a Conditional Voter Registration Provisional Ballot; however, the process is streamlined if registration occurs before the February 18 deadline.


"I urge voters who had their party preference changed to NPP to make the needed adjustments no later than the beginning of February to best ensure they receive the ballot of their choice," O'Neill added.


Voters can check their registration status by checking this link or visiting


Early voting at the Registrar of Voters' Office will begin on February 3; Vote Centers will open beginning February 22. These new Vote Centers are a central part of the new Voter's Choice Act (VCA) being introduced to El Dorado County voters in 2020. Under VCA, every voter receives a Vote by Mail ballot along with more days and more ways to cast their ballot at the Vote Centers. Completing the postcard or voting a crossover ballot does not change a voter's registered party affiliation. Voters who complete this postcard will continue to be registered as No Party Preference and will have an opportunity to request a crossover ballot in each future presidential primary election. All requests for new ballots to be mailed must be received not later than February 25, 2020.


(Note to editors: below is a copy of the postcard the being mailed by the Election Department)



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