California’s presidential primary election is swiftly approaching; however, several liberal voters may be disturbed to find that they have accidentally registered as members of the American Independent Party (AIP), a far right-leaning party with segregationist roots and members who oppose same-sex marriage and abortion.
According to an investigation conducted by the Los Angeles Times, three in four AIP supporters were actually trying to register as independent voters with no party affiliation. If not corrected, the error could prevent them from being able to cast their votes on June 7.
Even celebrities have fallen victim to the mistake including actresses Demi Moore and Emma Stone as well as former boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, Zynga founder Mark Pincus and Patrick Schwarzenegger — son of former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The AIP was founded in 1967 and nominated pro-segregation candidate and former Alabama Gov. George Wallace for president a year later, according to the Independent.
The party only exists in the predominately liberal Golden State and makes up only three percent of its 17.2 million registered voters but as we all know, every vote counts and losing voters in the primary could be detrimental.
A survey of 500 people registered as AIP members found that more than 70 percent of them were completely unaware of their affiliation and were horrified upon finding out.
While the AIP may no longer promote pro-segregation values, they are certainly still very conservative and controversial.
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Also, by being registered as an AIP member instead of an independent, voters won’t be able to cast their votes in the upcoming primary which could be crucial in closing the gap between the Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
This is also one of the last hopes to stop Republican front-runner Donald Trump from becoming his party’s nominee.
Let this serve as a reminder to all American voters to check and double check what you mark on a box before submitting your registration.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE