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13, 2015

RE: Use of Public Funds for Private Central Committee Elections

Dear County Registrar,

This letter is written on behalf of the Independent Voter Project and the individual voters it
represents, several of whom have added their names as signatories below.
State law provides that a county registrar shall conduct party central committee elections at the
request of any qualified political party (see e.g., California Elections Code sections 7230 and 7425).
However, a political partys county central committee does not perform any governmental functions
and membership in the committee is not a public office (see, Wilson v. San Luis Obispo County
Democratic Central Committee 175 Cal. App. 4th 489, 500 (2009), holding that California Election
Code provisions that seek to govern the composition of a party central committee violate the First
Amendment rights of political parties and their members).

The California Supreme Court has observed that taxpayer funds shall not be disbursed unless a
direct and substantial public purpose is served and non-state entities are benefited only as an
incident to the public purpose." California Housing Finance Authority v. Elliot 17 Cal. 3d 575, 583
We respectfully request that your office refrain from expending any public resources for the
administration of party central committee elections unless each political party requesting
administration of its private central committee elections agree to reimburse your office for the full
and fair public costs related thereto.

Jeff Marston
Co-chair, Independent Voter Project
[Additional Names to Follow]

PO Box 34431 | San Diego, CA 92163 | (619) 207-4618

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