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Thousands Join Conservative Political Party 'by Mistake'

Demi Moore is among those who joined
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 17, 2016 4:30 PM CDT
Updated Apr 17, 2016 5:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – A survey has found that tens of thousands of voters, including Demi Moore and other celebrities, have mistakenly registered as members of a conservative minor political party in California in a mix-up over its name, a newspaper reported Sunday, the AP reports. The Los Angeles Times says that a telephone survey of 500 members of the American Independent Party found nearly 3 of 4 people did not realize they had enrolled in an "ultraconservative" political party that opposes abortion rights and same sex marriage and calls for building a fence along the US border. The newspaper says voters were confused by the use of the word "independent" in the party's name. In California, voters who do not want to register with any party must check a box on a registration form for "no party preference."

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"I just blew it," says Deborah Silva, 64, of Point Arena in Mendocino County. "There were a number of choices. I just checked the box that said 'independent.'" Of people surveyed in the Times poll, fewer than 4% could correctly identify their own registration as a member of the American Independent Party. Moore was among Hollywood celebrities with known Democratic leanings listed as members; her registration as an AIP member is wrong, a representative says. Other celebs who say they joined by mistake are Sugar Ray Leonard and Emma Stone. According to the Secretary of State's Office, the party has about 472,000 members, or 2.7% of the statewide total. The mistaken registration could prevent people from casting votes in the June 7 presidential primary, which is considered California's most competitive in recent years. (Read more independent voters stories.)

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