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Democrats Hoping To Legalize Marijuana Or Get Free Cigarettes Tricked Into Registering Republican

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Riverside County Democrats claim that at least 133 of their party members were tricked into registering as Republicans.

Some of the Democrats complain that they were re-registered with the wrong party when they signed petitions to legalize marijuana or to lower gas prices. Some were offered jobs and others were offered free cigarettes, according to California Watch. These voters were targeted outside welfare centers and stores, according to a complaint Democrats filed with the county registrar of voters documenting the 133 cases with affidavits.

Democratic activists claim that a Republican voter outreach effort, the Golden State Voter Participation Project, employed an unusual fraud scheme to gain a voter registration advantage. They say that explains why the GOP reported a 35,000-voter surge in Riverside, creating a 51,000-voter advantage over Democrats at a time when Republican registration is declining in the state.

A spokeswoman for the voter participation Ashley Giovannettone denies the Democrats' allegations. She told California Watch that the voter participation project emphasizes legal and ethical conduct and has "zero tolerance" for registration fraud. She said, "Registering Democrats as Republican doesn't help our cause."

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That's not entirely accurate, some Democrats claim. If someone is registered as a Republican, they're not going to be on a Democrats' get-out-the-vote list. And if Republican numbers look higher than they are in a county, prospective donors might be more likely to donate.

However, the motivation for allegedly fraudulent registration might not be political at all: Democrats point out that canvassers received $7 per signature.

Republicans call the allegations pure fantasy.