SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A federal judge has set an Aug. 18 hearing date in a lawsuit filed by a Bernie Sanders supporter seeking to extend California’s voter registration deadline ahead of the primary election, meaning the plaintiffs likely won’t get a hearing before the state’s June 7 primary.
Attorney William Simpich argued in the filing that the process for unaffiliated voters to get a presidential primary ballot – particularly those seeking to cast ballots in the Democratic primary contest between Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – was too confusing and would leave many voters disenfranchised. He said at least two counties failed to notify some voters of their right to request a ballot to vote in the Democratic, Libertarian or American Independent Party contests.
“Thousands of Californians are in imminent danger of being disenfranchised in the 2016 presidential primary election ending on June 7, 2016, and will continue to be shut out of the democratic process unless and until defendants reform their voting by mail practices, Simpich wrote in the filing on behalf of two voters, a group called the Voting Rights Defense Project and the American Independent Party.
Simpich had asked the court to extend the registration deadline to election day, but the response from U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup on Tuesday means the case will not be addressed by then.
Simpich said in an email Tuesday that he will ask the judge for an expedited hearing and hopes to be granted a hearing as soon as this week.
A spokesman for Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Sam Mahood, declined to comment on the case but said Padilla was trying to notify voters about all their options through the state’s website, social media, press releases, voter hotline, and the voter information guide.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.