Proponents say the bill, dubbed the “California New Motor Voter” law by sponsors, could provide a big boost to voter participation in the Golden State — where there are nearly seven million residents who are eligible, but not registered, to vote. “Our democracy is stronger when more people in the community have a voice at the ballot box,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, the bill’s sponsor. “Even as some states are becoming more restrictive in guaranteeing the public a voice in our democracy, California should do everything it can to ensure people’s right to be a voter.” There are 1.2 million unregistered eligible voters in Los Angeles County, according to information from county election officials. The bill would allow information collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles to be sent to the Secretary of State to verify if residents are eligible to vote.
The state would then contact eligible residents and give them the option of choosing their party or declining registration, and county election officials would add any new registered voters to their rolls. The bill, which is modeled after a similar Oregon law, is also supported by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who said its approval would be a “game changer.”
“For all those citizens who want to exercise their voting rights, we should make every effort to facilitate their participation,” Padilla said.
Should the bill pass, it would be possible for people to opt out of the process or to decline registration.
Full Article: Bill introduced to provide automatic voter registration.