Lately, I have been pondering what all of the Orange County “decline-to-state” or DTS voters might be thinking. I was a DTS until a few years ago. At that time I had some of the same ideas I have now, like smaller more efficient government that runs smoothly without squandering our hard-earned tax-dollars. I also felt, and still do that all children
should be protected equally, even those who are still in the womb. Those ideas aligned me, whether I wanted to or not, with the Republican Party. But why would anyone want to go from DTS and affiliate with a single political party when DTS voters can vote for Democratic OR Republicans in California’s open primary system? That gives voters substantial freedom to choose candidates who they feel represent their value system regardless of political party affiliation. That is power in the hands of voters!
I have included some interesting tidbits of information for you to digest regarding registering to vote as DECLINE-TO-STATE that might help you better understand what might happen at the polls if you do not re-register. (After the Rove announcement)
As I was concluding this thought, I received an email from the OCGOP announcing that Karl Rove will be at the grand opening of the new OCGOP headquarters. Some think of Rove as a hero but many more consider him a villain. Either way, you can buy an autographed book from him at the event. See attached image below…
On June 26, 2000, the United States Supreme Court decided in California Democratic Party, et al. v. Jones 530 U.S. 567 (2000) that California's open primary system violated the right of free association. In January 2001, following the passage of SB28 (Ch. 898, Stats. 2000), a new modified closed system took effect in which voters registered with a particular party can only vote in that party's primary, but voters who decline to state a party affiliation can vote in one party's primary if the party agrees to allow it (California Elections Code §2151).
From the California Secretary of State
Voting in the Upcoming June 8, 2010, Statewide Direct Primary Election
If you are a voter who has declined to state an affiliation with a political party, you may be able to vote for a candidate of a specific party in the upcoming June 8, 2010, Statewide Direct Primary. You may request, from your county elections official or at your polling place, the ballot of a political party if authorized by the party's rules and duly noticed by the Secretary of State. You may not request more than one party's ballot. To obtain information on how to request the ballot of a participating political party, contact your county elections office.
- Democratic Party, letter dated January 7, 2010
- Republican Party, letter dated January 25, 2010
Closed Primary System
A "closed" primary system governed California's primary elections until 1996. In a closed primary, only persons who are registered members of a political party may vote the ballot of that political party.
Open Primary System
The provisions of the "closed" primary system were amended by the adoption of Proposition 198, an initiative statute approved by the voters at the March 26, 1996, Primary Election. Proposition 198 changed the closed primary system to what is known as a "blanket" or "open" primary, in which all registered voters may vote for any candidate, regardless of political affiliation and without a declaration of political faith or allegiance.
On June 26, 2000, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in California Democratic Party, et. al. v. Jones, stating that California's "open" primary system, established by Proposition 198, was unconstitutional because it violated a political party's First Amendment right of association. Therefore, the Supreme Court overturned Proposition 198.
Modified Closed Primary System
California currently has a "modified" closed primary system. Senate Bill 28 (Ch. 898, Stats. 2000), relating to primary elections, was chaptered on September 29, 2000 and took effect on January 1, 2001. Senate Bill 28 implemented a "modified" closed primary system that permits unaffiliated ("decline to state") voters to participate in a primary election if authorized by an individual party's rules and duly noticed by the Secretary of State.
History of Political Parties that have Adopted Party Rules Regarding Decline-to-State Voters