The problem is that only 55 electors can be voted for on behalf of any candidate. If Trump's name had been listed twice, once for the Republican Party and once for the American Independent Party, voters voting for him on either line would have cast valid votes.
But, he is listed once. So, voters voting for Trump are voting for both sets of electors. Thereby, they nullify their vote just as if they voted for both Trump and another presidential candidate.
"Section 6902 of the California election code says, 'At the general election in each leap year, there shall be chosen by the voters of the state as many electors of President and Vice President as the state is then entitled to.' California is entitled to 55 electoral votes."
. . .
"Section 14285 says, 'The voter shall, by using the provided marking device, place a mark in the voting square, rectangle, or other specific voting space following the names of the candidates for that office for whom the voter intends to vote, not exceeding, however, the number of candidates to be elected.'
"The California Secretary of State could have solved the problem of separate presidential elector lists for each of the two parties by placing Donald Trump’s name on the ballot twice, once for each party. Because this was not done, the only two Trump electors whose vote total can be ascertained are Ron Gold and Thomas Hudson. And even votes cast for them will be invalid, because all Trump popular votes will be overvotes."Either the California Republican Party has become #NeverTrump or lost all understanding of how elections work.
"The California Republican Party was free to have nominated the same presidential elector candidates as the American Independent Party. The AIP turned in its list first, so the Republican Party was aware of the AIP names. But the Republican Party, which filed its slate at the last hour before the deadline for electors, chose to ignore the AIP list and submit different candidates. The AIP had been suggesting a joint list to the Republican Party ever since August, and had even offered to let the Republicans choose 50 members, but the Republicans ignored the AIP request."And the Democrat California Secretary of State was happy to oblige them.
"Donald Trump’s name is on the November California ballot as 'Donald J. Trump, Republican, American Independent.' There is only one space on the ballot to vote for Trump. Therefore, all votes cast in that one space for Trump are overvotes, because they are casting a vote for 108 elector candidates. No California voter is permitted to vote for more than 55 candidates for presidential elector. When a voter casts a vote for more candidates than are to be elected, that is an “overvote” and the vote is invalid."Kind of goes with the strategic genius of the guy at the head of the ticket. But, some Republican somewhere may think of a fix--maybe someone who pays attention to election rules.
H/T John Fund