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County Launches Open Primary Election Education Campaign
Posted Date: 4/25/2012 2:30 PM

Riverside County has replaced a tech-savvy baby, at least temporarily, with two presidential pitchmen to help voters understand the new open primary system that will be used in California for the first time in the June election.

A video released Tuesday focuses on the Top Two Primary system. Top Two allows voters to cast a ballot for any candidate during the primary election, not just a candidate in their own party. The exceptions are in presidential primary elections and in political parties’ central committee elections, when voters can only vote for candidates within their own party.

“We’re trying to inform people by entertaining them,” Registrar of Voters Kari Verjil said. "We want everyone to understand the option to vote for a candidate in any party during primary elections."

The new video stars William Truman Peck and Frederick T. Alexander, two actors who look enough like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington to warrant a DNA test. Lincoln kicks off the video, telling Washington the new rules have him confused. The Father of Our country clears up Honest Abe's puzzlement in less than a minute during the video, which can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Jhd7LJJJ9s

Alexander lives in Yucca Valley and has appeared as George Washington on The History Channel, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and at schools, trade shows and numerous other venues. Peck, of San Marcos, has appeared as Lincoln on The History Channel as well as on HBO, at a Republican National Convention, Civil War reenactments, fairs, schools and a host of other events.

It is the second video in the Registrar of Voters’ outreach campaign. In the first, a tech-savvy baby lobbied for people to vote by mail, urging them against "standing in line like a Voteasaurus." After the Sacramento County registrar's office picked up the video for use there, Riverside County offered it to counties across California. At least three other registrars have asked to rebrand the video and use it to reach voters in their counties.

A third video that highlights the registrar’s early voting program is expected to be released next in the next few weeks. For more information contact Registrar Kari Verjil at (951) 486-7330