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Tons Of Cali Voters Accidentally Registered With An Ultraconservative Fringe Party

George Wallace's AIP membership card. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)
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Thousands of Californians intending to register as independent voters accidentally affiliated with the fringe, ultraconservative American Independent Party. An L.A.Times investigation finds that nearly three in four registered AIP voters— likely confused by the use of "Independent" in the name—did not realize they had joined the party. Thanks to name confusion, the AIP has more registered California voters than any other other independent party in the state and its roster reads like a Saturday night at the Soho House. The Times reports left-leaning Hollywood celebrities as Sugar Ray Leonard, Demi Moore, Kaley Cuoco and Emma Stone are all among the mistakenly registered AIP voters. And the confusion isn't limited to La La Land: the Times reports that Patrick Schwarzenegger, son of the former governor, Geralyn Buscaino and wife of Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino. Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, also accidentally registered with the AIP once upon a time, but she amended her registration nearly nine years ago after the issue was brought to her attention. This honest mistake will have unfortunate consequences for members of the AIP roster when the June primaries roll around, unless they act fast. According to KTLA:

The deadline to register or change voter registration in California for the June 7 primary is on May 23. But state rules block voters who are mistakenly registered with AIP from participating in other primary contests, so voters accidentally enrolled in AIP will need to act in order to cast primary ballots. California Republicans are holding a closed primary, meaning only registered Republicans can participate. In the Democratic primary, registered Democrats and “no party preference” voters are allowed. Neither primary allows for participation by AIP members, who are explicitly registered with the party and can only vote for candidates on the AIP ballot.

Opposition to same-sex marriage is arguably one of the more mainstream positions held by the AIP. Their stated platform affirms that America is a "fundamentally a Christian Nation," and they favor building a wall around the entire perimeter of the U.S., along with the elimination of paper money, OSHA, the IRS and the National Endowment for the Arts. They also have their very own militia (official motto: "No King But King Jesus"). Historically, they are perhaps best known for running notorious American villain George Wallace as a presidential candidate in 1968. The party now only exists in California. But of course.

Worried you too might have accidentally registered with the AIP? The Times has created a handy tool to let you check the database, which can be found here.

And California voters can register to vote in the June election here.

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Our hometown paper has arguably performed an amazing piece of service journalism, but Markham Robinson, AIP's party chair, is not a fan:

Note: This post was updated to include a link for voter registration, thanks to a suggestion from LAist reader Steve Rosenberger, along with a clarification that Siebel Newsom amended her registration nearly nine years ago.

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