California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a new bill into law that allows Golden State residents to change their party registration on Election Day, with the stated intention of increasing primary election turnout.
However, it would also make it strikingly easy to wage sabotage campaigns like “Operation Chaos,” where voters in the other party switch sides to vote for the opponent they believe has the weakest general election prospects. (The Hill)
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed the bill Thursday, allowing voters to fill out a short form at any point in the last two weeks before an election, including the day itself, declaring their party affiliation.
California’s embrace of conditional voter registration for the general election in 2018 led to historic midterm turnout in the state during an election that saw the number of GOP House members in the state’s 53-member congressional delegation fall to single digits.
“In 2018, California piloted conditional voter registration and some polling places reported lines over five hours long as a result of the additional voters,” the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D), told the Sacramento Bee. “Therefore, it is urgent to put a procedure in place to efficiently provide voters assistance this upcoming presidential primary.”