California has no law saying candidates for presidential elector must be registered voters. On October 1, 2016, the California Secretary of State accepted the American Independent Party’s slate of presidential electors, even though nine of them live in other states. Here is the AIP list (scroll down past the Democratic and Republican electors).
But, on November 2, the California Secretary of State sent Rocky De La Fuente (an independent presidential candidate who isn’t on the ballot in California) a letter saying he cannot be a write-in in California because seven of his presidential elector candidates are registered at California addresses different from the addresses listed on their write-in applications. Furthermore, the letter says De La Fuente won’t be permitted to alter his list, even though he submitted it well before the deadline and was not informed of any problem until after the deadline had passed. De La Fuente did submit a few alternate presidential elector candidates.
Here is the letter to De La Fuente. None of the election code references in the letter say anything about whether elector candidates must be registered voters. Section 8651 says a write-in declaration of candidacy must include the name, address, an oath supporting the Constitution, the date of the general election, and the name of the presidential candidate. Section 8652 consists solely of the write-in deadline. Section 349 defines “residence” and “domicile” but says nothing about registration.
The California Secretary of State has accepted the Republican presidential elector list, even though one of the Republican electors, Arun Bhumitra, holds a position with the federal government and Article II of the U.S. Constitution does not permit electors to work for the federal government. The Republican Party did not submit any alternate elector candidates. Also, the California Secretary of State has accepted 108 presidential elector candidates pledged to Donald Trump, and if Trump were to carry California, there is no way to tell which of those 108 electors were elected. California has 55 electoral votes. For more about that problem, see this story.
Posted on November 2, 2016 by Richard Winger