California moves to allow voters to switch party registration on Election Day

California moves to allow voters to switch party registration on Election Day
© Getty

California's governor signed a bill last week that allows state residents to switch their party affiliation on Election Day, a change expected to increase primary election participation.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia gubernatorial candidate under investigation for 1,000 lb. bear campaign mascot Newsom proposes transitional kindergarten for all 4-year-olds in California Grenell still interested in California recall bid MORE (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.

The bill ensures that a resident may vote in their intended party's primary even if they miss the official registration deadline, presuming that their application is accepted by county officials.

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.”