Linda Paine
President and Co-founder
Election Integrity Project® California

A nonprofit public benefit organization

Questions? Contact us through our website:

San Bernardino County
Elections Office of the Registar of Voters
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In 2 months, you will have the great privilege of voting. While we often take that privilege for granted, a review of human history will show how incredibly rare it is to have the freedom to self-govern. It's a good idea to know the rules.

The Presidential Primary can be very confusing in California, because we have become accustomed to the open or "jungle" primary process instituted in 2012.

Please remember that the office of President is NOT an open primary. It is a partisan process, subject to the rules established by each political party.

Here are some reminders to be sure you do not lose your right to vote as you choose on March 3:

• Visit your County Registrar's website and CHECK YOUR REGISTRATION. Too many people in 2018 found themselves victims of an unintentional registration change that affected their ability to vote in the manner they wished, and at times, to vote at all. Most of those changes are happening through continuing glitches and errors in the New Motor Voter program administered by the DMV and the Secretary of State. In a presidential primary, party registration matters. Protect yourself.

• Visit the Secretary of State's website at and check your registration there as well. Please report any discrepancy between the two to EIPCa at

Make it a habit to check your registration often in both election and non-election years.

• The rules for participation in the Presidential Primary are determined by the parties. Review the following options available given your party preference. If you would prefer a different choice you may re-register any time up to and including Election Day. However, it is wise to do so as soon as possible.

• If you are registered No Party Preference (NPP), Decline to State (DTS) or Libertarian, you WILL be allowed to cross over and vote in the Democrat presidential primary if you so wish. Upon request you will receive an NPP Democrat ballot, different from the regular Democrat ballot only in that it will be missing the Central Committee choices, which are reserved for registered Democrats.

• If you are registered with any other party, you will NOT be allowed to cross over and vote with a Democrat ballot.

• Only registered Republicans may vote in the Republican primary. There is no cross-over voting allowed by the party.

• If you are registered with the American Independent Party, you are not "independent"; you are entitled to vote ONLY in the American Independent Party or Democrat Party primaries.

• NPP voters who choose not to cross over or re-register will have no presidential choices on their ballot.

• If you are registered NPP, you should have received notification from your Registrar's office, notifying you of your choices. If you are expecting to vote by mail as an NPP, that notification should have instructed you how to communicate to them which ballot you wish to receive. Be sure to respond. If you have not received it, call your registrar's office.

Remember that vote-by-mail ballots are NOT the best way to vote if you have another choice.

Take care of and respect the great privilege you have by showing up and voting in person if you possibly can.

You can remove yourself from the permanent vote-by-mail list (in non-Voters Choice Act counties) by contacting your Registrar or by re-registering.

Do it SOON.

If you do receive a Vote-by-Mail ballot:

• If you are in a traditional county and have a polling place assigned to your address, you may take your vote-by-mail ballot to the polls, surrender it, and receive a non-provisional ballot. If you have no assigned polling place, you will have to use the vote-by-mail ballot; submit it in the safest way possible, and NEVER mail it.

• If you are in a Vote Center county, you are NOT required to use the ballot sent to you. Embrace the opportunity to vote in person and take advantage of the flexibility. You have 11 days to go to any vote center in your county to do so; it is not necessary to surrender the ballot you were sent, but be sure to shred it after you vote in person. Spread the word.

If voters know the rules of the system, there will be much less confusion and fewer people disenfranchised through voter error and misunderstanding.

Questions? Contact us through our website:

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