Motor Voter Registration is now California law

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Governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown signed a number of pieces of legislation regarding voting and elections in California, including AB 1461, sponsored by San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez that effectively makes “Motor Voter Registration” the law. The governor, state assembly and senate believe people should be able to opt out of voting, not opt in.

The explanation in the bill reads:

“This bill would require the Secretary of State and the Department of Motor Vehicles to establish the California New Motor Voter Program for the purpose of increasing opportunities for voter registration by any person who is qualified to be a voter. Under the program, after the Secretary of State certifies that certain enumerated conditions are satisfied, the Department of Motor Vehicles would be required to electronically provide to the Secretary of State the records of each person who is issued an original or renewal of a driver’s license or state identification card or who provides the department with a change of address, as specified. The person’s motor vehicle records would then constitute a completed affidavit of registration and the person would be registered to vote, unless the person affirmatively declined to be registered to vote during a transaction with the department, the department did not represent to the Secretary of State that the person attested that he or she meets all voter eligibility requirements, as specified, or the Secretary of State determines that the person is ineligible to vote. The bill would require the Secretary of State to adopt regulations to implement this program, as specified.”

In other words, when you get your drivers license, or renew it, you will be automatically registered to vote. But you will have the ability to opt our of registering at the time you get or renew your drivers license.

This is in stark contrast to the number of states that have been restricting voting rights to block certain segments of society (minorities, young people and seniors) from voting.

The system is expected to be in place before the June 2016 California primary, although it takes effect officially on January 1, 2016.

(Photo via the office of Governor Jerry Brown)