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VOTERS' GUIDE

California's 'Blanket Primary'

March 05, 2000

Californians will vote Tuesday in a "blanket primary." Any registered voter can cast a ballot for any candidate from any party. The names of all of the candidates will appear together on a single ballot.

In the presidential race, Secretary of State Bill Jones' office will tally the popular vote, but only votes cast by members of a politician's party will count in awarding delegates to the national conventions. Democrats will decide which candidate gets the Democratic delegates, and Republicans will decide who gets the Republican delegates.

Voters will cast single ballots; the ballots are coded so that they can be separated by political party.

In the race for U.S. Senate, voters will choose among 14 candidates from seven parties. The top vote-getter from each party will advance to the general election Nov. 7.

Under California's old system, a voter could choose only among candidates of the party in which he or she was registered. Those who declined to state a party preference were ineligible to cast a primary vote for partisan offices such as governor, Congress and the state Legislature.

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