Members of Peace and Freedom Party Given Non-Partisan Ballots

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Correction Appended

Misinformed poll workers in Alameda County mistakenly issued non-partisan ballots to registrants of the Peace and Freedom Party during the primary election on June 3, a complication that officials from the Peace and Freedom Party said will affect the party's presidential candidate nominees.

One of two voter indexes given to poll workers incorrectly listed the Peace and Freedom Party under the non-partisan ballot; however, Registrar Dave Macdonald said the roster index, which poll workers were instructed to use to determine party affiliation, was correct.

"Immediately upon discovering this problem, we notified our precinct coordinators who in turn notified poll workers," he said.

Debra Reigard, chair of the Peace and Freedom party, said that some party members insisted on completing provisional ballots and called in to complain about the proceedings.

"Those who didn't know better probably voted on non-partisan ballots and only on state propositions," she said.

Party members said they are worried that this may put their August presidential nomination convention at stake, and are currently filing a complaint with the secretary of state's office.

Dave Kadlecek, the Alameda County chair of the party, said he compared the figures of February's primary with those of the June primary and found that about 43 percent less Peace and Freedom Party ballots were cast in the recent election, while other third parties ranged from having

2 to 13 percent less party ballots cast.

However, Macdonald said that this primary election had a much lower voter turnout in general compared to the February primary in Alameda County.

"The turnout for this election was very low compared to the February Presidential primary," he said. "February had a total turnout of over 60 percent, while this election is under 30 percent."

Kadlecek said he estimates that the Peace and Freedom Party has between 2,500 to 3,000 registered members in Alameda County, though members in other counties were also affected by Tuesday's errant polling procedures. Los Angeles and Sacramento counties also conducted improper polling, Kadlecek said; a number of Los Angeles county's Peace and Freedom Party members were given only one of two ballot pages for presidential delegate nominees.

Party members allege that the misprint would have been caught if they were a major party.

"It was not a deliberate attempt, just a careless disregard for third parties and small parties, and the care was not taken to make sure parties other than Republican or Democrat were represented," Reigard said.


Correction: Thursday, June 19, 2008
Monday's article "Members of Peace and Freedom Party Given Non-Partisan Ballots" misspelled Peace and Freedom Party Chair Debra Reigar's name. The article incorrectly stated that the figures Dave Kadlecek compared were of the February poll turnout with the June turnout. In fact, he said the figures were of turnout in February at the polls and votes cast in February at the polls. The article should also have attributed information about ballot problems in Sacramento County to Reigar.

The Daily Californian regrets the error.

Contact Hadas Goshen at [email protected]

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