Sacramento County's Latino Democratic Club has been frustrated about not being allowed to set up a voter registration table at Galt's flea market for the past two weeks.
As it turns out, the Latino Club needs to provide a form from the Internal Revenue Service to prove that the club is an official nonprofit organization, Galt City Manager Jason Behrmann said.
Instead of providing a letter from the IRS, Latino Democratic Club representatives provided the city copies of the club's income tax returns, City Clerk Liz Aguire said.
"We didn't think that was being too difficult or demanding," Behrmann said. "There was no intent to try to exclude that group from the market."
Nonprofit organizations get a $10 discount ($20 instead of $30) to rent a booth at the open-air market on Wednesdays, Behrmann said. There is no discount for the Tuesday market. Groups can also walk around with a clip board and register voters free of charge without renting a table, he said.
"We appreciate the need for due process, but we went above and beyond what is required by the law," Latino Democratic Club President Silvia Landers said in a news release. "I feel like we were unfairly targeted by Galt. Our volunteers want to help people get involved and engaged in the civic process, and one of the most important ways is by registering to vote."
Landers said that her club, which was established about 3 years ago, not only registers voters, but members educate the public about the democratic governmental process.
"I don't know why they never called anybody but this low-level market employee," Behrmann said. "I just learned about it (Monday) afternoon."
Landers said she called and e-mailed Galt Market manager Armando Solis, but never got a response. Solis declined to comment on the situation, deferring comment to Behrmann.
Landers also contacted the city clerk's office, but Behrmann said she should have contacted him or Parks and Recreation Director Boyce Jeffries, who oversees market operations.