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Be Prepared for New Ballots in California's June 5 Primary

Your ballot will look different for this June 5 Presidential Primary Election due to the passage of Proposition 14 that enacted a new Top Two Primary Voting system.

Your ballot will look different for this June 5 Presidential Primary Election. The change is due to the fact that California voters passed Proposition 14 in June 2010 that enacted a new Top Two Primary Voting system.

The shift means that voters will decide who will appear on the ballot in November for the run-off instead of the parties. That will be the case for what are now called voter-nominated offices, which include: U.S. Senate, Congress, State Senate, and State Assembly.

However, for United States President, the parties will continue to nominate their one person who will go to a run-off election in November.

What that means for voters is, if you want to vote for someone who is running for President in the Republican, Green, Libertarian, or Peace and Freedom parties, you must be registered with that political party by the May 21 deadline. If you want to vote for someone who is running for President in the Democratic or American Independent parties, you must be registered to vote with that political party or be registered as no party preference (also known as nonpartisan, independent, decline to state) by the May 21 deadline.

Bottom line, four of the political parties require you to be registered with their political party in order to vote for one of their candidates for President and two parties require you to be registered with their party or with no party. Be advised that voters will NOT get a ballot containing all candidates from all parties who are running for President.

All voters will, however, get a ballot with all candidates running for the different voter-nominated offices, including the 24 candidates running for U.S. Senate. Voters may vote for one person running for each office. The candidate’s party preference is printed on the ballot, however, if the candidate is not affiliated with a political party, the word “None” is printed after Party Preference.

The top two vote getters will appear on the ballot in November in a final run-off to determine who is elected to that office. The Top Two Primary rules do not require that the two candidates be from different political parties. So, you may see two Democratic or two Republican party candidates in a run-off in November. Also, even if there are just two candidates running in the Primary, they both must appear on the ballot again in November. There is no provision for a candidate in a voter-nominated office to win election in the June Primary.

There will continue to be write-in spaces on the June ballot for voters to write in the name of a qualified candidate or anyone they choose. Only votes for qualified write-in candidates, who have filed nomination papers by May 22, will be counted and certified. In November, there will not be write-in candidates or spaces to write-in names.

The other contests on the ballot will look the same as before. For the nonpartisan office of County Supervisor, if someone receives 50% plus 1 of the vote in the Primary, that person will be elected. If no one receives 50% plus 1, then the top two vote-getters will be in a run-off in November.

This June there are also two state propositions for everyone and four local measures that will be on your ballot if you live in any of the following school districts: West Valley-Mission Community College District, Santa Cruz City High School and Elementary School Districts, and Scotts Valley Unified School District.

For more information on the June 5, 2012 election, visit www.votescount.com or call us at 831-454-2060.

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