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County sees upswing in voter registration as election nears
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More and more local residents are registering to vote, either online or by paper registration form, as the June 7 Presidential Primary Election draws near.  The Stanislaus County Registrar of Voters received 2,047 online voter registrations on Tuesday alone, in addition to paper registration forms. In comparison, the Registrar of Voters received 447 voter registrations on May 10, 148 on May 3 and 138 on April 26.

There were 214,830 residents registered to vote in the county on May 9, but with the late surge in registrations those numbers could overtake the 220,567 registered voters seen in the June 2012 Presidential Primary.

Monday is the last day to register to vote and the last day to re-register.

Presidential Primaries are unique because political parties have the ability to decide whether voters registered as No-Party Preference can "crossover" into their party and vote for one of their candidates. For the June 7 Presidential Primary, the American Independent, Democratic and Libertarian parties have allowed "crossover" voting.  Voters who will be voting at the polls and are registered as No-Party Preference need to request a "crossover" ballot upon checking-in at their polling location. If a voter chooses a "crossover" ballot, it will not change their registered party preference.

Voters who are registered as No-Party Preference and would like to vote in the June 7 Presidential Primary for a Republican, Green, or Peace & Freedom Presidential candidate, must re-register to vote for one of those respective parties. 

When California residents open their mail-in ballots or visit their polling place on June 7, they could have 38 presidential candidates to choose from (depending on their party preference) with seven Democrats, five Republicans, seven American Independents, five Greens, 12 Libertarians and three Peace & Freedom candidates.

Along with the Presidential Primary, local voters on June 7 will also choose candidates for retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer's seat, U.S. Representative, District 10, State Assembly District 12 (which includes Turlock and most of Stanislaus County), State Assembly District 21 (which includes all of Merced County and southwest Stanislaus County), Stanislaus County Supervisor Districts 1, 2 and 5 and Stanislaus County Republican Central Committee Districts 1 and 4.

There is one statewide measure on the June 7 ballot — Proposition 50:Suspension of Legislators Amendment.

Currently, legislators can be suspended but their benefits cannot be. Proposition 50 (Senate Constitutional Amendment 17) would allow the legislature to terminate the salaries and benefits of suspended legislators. Under the legislation, a proposed suspension would first require a resolution containing "findings and declarations setting forth the basis for the suspension."

Furthermore, the amendment would prohibit a suspended legislator from exercising any of the rights, privileges, duties, or powers of his or her office, or from utilizing any resources of the legislature while the suspension is in effect. Additionally, the suspended member could have his or her salary and benefits forfeited during the suspension period if such a provision is included in the suspension resolution. A two-thirds vote would be required to end the suspension unless a suspension termination date was included in the original suspension vote.

Senate Constitutional Amendment 17 was developed in the wake of the legislature's inability to force three suspended legislators to forfeit their salaries and benefits. On March 28, 2014, the California Senate voted to suspend Ron Calderon (D-30), Roderick Wright (D-35) and Leland Yee (D-8) until all criminal proceedings against them were dismissed. The three were involved in separate criminal cases. Before the March 28, 2014, suspensions, the California Legislature had never before suspended a member in its 164-year history.

The Legislative Counsel noted that the Senate had the authority to suspend the three, but could not suspend their salaries or benefits. The annual salary of the senators, at the time of their suspensions, was approximately $90,000.

Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on June 7. Mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day. Hand-delivered ballots must be dropped off at a poll or the Elections Office by 8 p.m. Election Day.

More information regarding the Presidential Primary Election— including how to register to vote, apply for a mail-in ballot and find your polling place — is available on the Stanislaus Registrar of Voters website at