The recently announced party registration numbers in California have pundits buzzing about the continuing growth of “No Party Preference” voters alongside the declining memberships in the Democrat and Republican parties. “Indie voters have growing clout in California elections” blares a KPCC headline, and reporter Sharon McNary goes on to list reasons ranging from online registration to the top two primary as reasons for NPP’s expanding ranks.
But what if the reason had as much to do with the design of the registration form as with registration reform? And what if the registration forms (both print and online) we’re using break with state statute in ways that promote NPP registration?
One of my first jobs was working in an industry that hardly exists anymore: business forms printing. You remember business forms? Those preprinted documents you used to run through something called a typewriter, or, if it was a continuous form, you put on the sprockets of a forms printer.