Even as Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton scored major wins in the New York primary, rivals in both camps have refused to concede, vowing to carry their campaigns to their party’s summer conventions and giving the June 7 California primary increasing importance.

The once inevitable Democrat nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been stunned by the unexpectedly strong surprise candidacy from self-avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is deploying ground troops to scoop up delegates who can commit to a second-ballot vote for him, pinning his hopes on a contested convention.

Political observers can argue about Trump’s rhetoric, Cruz’s tactics, and Gov. John Kasich’s stubborn streak, or Clinton’s likeability factor and the reliability of Sanders’ youthful followers, but all experts agree that every delegate counts.

Now, the campaigns on both sides are faced with the news that nearly a half-million Californians will be unable to enter the voting booth due to the confusing wording on an official registration form.

The mistake occurred when voters inadvertently registered as members of the American Independent Party (AIP), rather than merely as “Independent” or unaffiliated voters, an error that the Los Angeles Times says resulted in 73 percent of the AIP’s registered voters believing they are “Independents.”

California holds “closed” primaries for both parties, so only registered members may vote in their respective party’s race; AIP members may not vote in either the Republican or Democrat race.

Actresses Demi Moore and Emma Stone, as well as the son of Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Republican California governor and Kennedy kin Maria Shriver were among the estimated 472,000 Californians whose registration was in error, and although the affected voters can change their affiliation through May 23, the Times survey noted that most will not be aware of the problem until they show up at the polling place on June 7 and learn of the mistake.

Trump and Cruz are vying for 172 Republican delegates in California while Clinton and Sanders are attempting to secure 548 delegates prior to their conventions in July.


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