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How California’s Voter Guide Calls for Federal Action on Independent Naming Conventions

4 min read
San Diego
Hilaire “FUJI” Shioura · Feb 14, 2024

Hilaire “FUJI” Shioura is an independent, Good Party certified candidate running for office in California's 51st Congressional District. The following article is reposted with permission from his campaign website.


In this article, I uncover how California’s Voter Guide, a critical resource for voters, intentionally sways public perception through its inconsistent and deliberately confusing labeling of Independent candidates and voters like myself and others.

Imagine a voting process where every candidate, regardless of party affiliation, is presented fairly and clearly. My article highlights the current issues and gives a compelling case for federal intervention to standardize naming conventions, ensuring every voter makes an informed and unbiased choice.

Dive into this insightful exploration to understand the impact of these biases and join the call for a more transparent and equitable electoral system. Your awareness and support can help shape a more democratic future.

In legal discourse, exhibits are crucial for elucidating and substantiating claims of motive, bias, and intent within judicial proceedings. Exhibits, including documents, photographs, objects, animations, or other relevant items, are formally introduced in court to strengthen arguments and validate assertions.

In challenging the trustworthiness of California’s Secretary of State, the PDF version of the California Official Voter Information Guide for the March 5th, 2024, election becomes a critical exhibit in the court of public opinion. This guide highlights clear and present bias, motive, and intent in the Secretary of State’s office’s actions.

The 112 pages, 80,000 plus worded PDF is the Official Voter Information Guide for the California Presidential Primary Election scheduled for March 5, 2024. It includes comprehensive details about voting procedures, candidates, propositions (like Proposition 1 which involves a $6.38 billion bond for mental health facilities and housing for the homeless), and other election-related information. This guide is supposed to serve as a resource for voters to understand the election process, the candidates, their platforms, and the implications of ballot measures.

This voter guide lists candidates for the United States Senate in California, including Mark Ruzon from the American Solidarity Party, Laura Garza of the Socialist Workers Party, and independent candidates Joe Sosinski, Major Singh, and Don J. Grundmann. Mark, Laura, Joe, and Don are categorized as “No Qualified Party Preference,” contrasting sharply with easy-to-understand labels like Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and American Independent assigned to other candidates.

Only Joe Sosinski, Major Singh, and Don J. Grundmann are not affiliated with any political party or bureaucratic organization, raising concerns about the categorization’s uniformity and accuracy. Adding to the confusion, Major Singh is uniquely labeled “No Party Preference,” differing from the “No Qualified Party Preference” designation, which could mislead voters further.

Complicating matters further, Don J. Grundmann’s candidate statement includes a unique disclaimer that is not applied uniformly to other candidates. It states, “The views and opinions expressed by the candidates are their own and do not represent the views and opinions of the Secretary of State’s Office.” This selective application hints at bias and merits scrutiny.

These intentional inconsistencies in the California Official Voter Information Guide’s labeling and presentation form the legal argument’s foundation, questioning the impartiality and fairness of Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber. The evidence proves a well-though-out pattern that can only be interpreted as an attempt to influence voter perception, especially regarding independent candidates. This necessitates examining the guide’s compilation and presentation intent and motive, which is crucial to my public campaign legal challenge against the Secretary of State’s actions.

The Need for Federal Intervention in Naming Conventions

The clarity and fairness of our electoral processes are paramount in American politics. The confusion highlighted and demonstrated in the California Official Voter Information Guide for the March 5th, 2024, election underscores the need for federal legislation to standardize independent candidates’ and voters’ naming conventions.

The California Confusion: A Case Study

The California voter guide needs to be more consistent in how independent candidates are identified. To reiterate, candidates like Mark Ruzon, Laura Garza, Joe Sosinski, Major Singh, and Don J. Grundmann are labeled “No Qualified Party Preference” or “No Party Preference,” creating confusion and disadvantaging these candidates. The inconsistent application of disclaimers like that on Don J. Grundmann’s statement further clouds the issue of impartiality.

In light of the evidence presented in a 2016 Los Angeles Times article, it is evident that a significant number of California voters have inadvertently registered and cast their votes for the American Independent Party. This phenomenon underscores a persistent issue in California’s political landscape: voter confusion regarding the registration and support of Independent candidates and affiliated parties.

My Case For Uniformity

  1. Preventing Voter Confusion: The guide should inform voters about their choices. The current system’s varying terms for independents fail this basic criterion, potentially affecting voters’ understanding and choices.

  2. Ensuring Fair Representation: The confusion over party affiliation disadvantages independent candidates who already face challenges in recognition and resources compared to major party candidates.

  3. Protecting Democracy: Democracy thrives on informed choice. Misleading or confusing voters undermines this principle. A clear and consistent labeling system is essential for maintaining election integrity.

The Role Of Federal Legislation

State-level approaches can result in inconsistencies and biases, necessitating federal intervention:

  • Standardizing Terminology: Federal law mandating a uniform term, such as “Independent,” for all non-affiliated candidates would eliminate ambiguity and ensure all voters, regardless of state, receive consistent information.

  • Promoting Equity: This legislation would allow independent candidates to compete fairly with party-affiliated counterparts.

  • Catering to Diversity: A uniform term simplifies translations, reduces misunderstandings among non-English speakers, and supports a more inclusive electoral process for voters.

The discrepancies in California’s guide point to a broader issue in the U.S. electoral system. Enacting federal legislation to standardize independent candidates’ naming conventions would significantly enhance our elections’ clarity, fairness, and integrity, upholding the democratic values at our nation’s core.

Complete List Of Only 28 U.S. Senatorial Candidates From the California Voter Guide

No Qualified Party Preference

  1. Laura Garza, Socialist Workers Party

  2. Don J. Grundmann, promotes the Constitution Party of California

  3. Mark Ruzon, American Solidarity Party

  4. Joe Sosinski

No Party Preference

  1. Major Singh


  1. Sepi Gilani

  2. Harmesh Kumar

  3. Barbara Lee

  4. Christina Pascucci

  5. David Peterson

  6. Douglas H. Pierce

  7. Katie Porter

  8. Perry Pound

  9. Raji Rab

  10. John Rose

  11. Adam B. Schif


  1. Sharleta Bassett

  2. James Bradley

  3. Eric Early

  4. Steve Garvey

  5. Denice Gary-Pandol

  6. James “Jim” Macauley

  7. Jonathan Reiss

  8. Stefan Simchowitz

  9. Sarah Sun Liew

  10. Martin Veprauskas

American Independent

  1. Forrest Jones


  1. Gail Lightfoot

Access the official voter information guide here.

Photo by Gerson Repreza on Unsplash


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San Diego
By Hilaire “FUJI” Shioura
Hilaire “FUJI” Shioura is an independent voter, candidate for California's 51st Congressional District, and K12 educator. To learn more about his campaign for U.S. Congress, visit