Capitol Alert

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California was implementing its new top-two primary system with no major glitches or problems Tuesday, judging from the secretary of state's office and a random sampling of Sacramento-area polling places.

For the first time ever, voters statewide could cast ballots for candidates of any party in legislative and congressional primary races, with the top two vote-getters squaring off in November.

Votes for presidential candidates continued to be limited by party affiliation, however, just like in years past.

"We haven't seen a lot of confusion (statewide)," said Shannan Velayas, spokeswoman for Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

California's voter information guides provided a detailed explanation of the top-two system, created by voter passage of Proposition 14 in 2010.

There were no reports by Tuesday afternoon of voters mistakenly double-voting -- that is, choosing both a Democrat and a Republican as their choice to run off in November for a particular legislative or congressional seat.

Precinct officials at six polling places in Sacramento, Yolo and Placer counties said voters did not seem puzzled by the new system and they had not fielded a single question or concern.



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