Blog

In The Capitol: Removing Barriers To Voting

By Pedro Morillas
Legislative Director

AB 1436—Establishes an election day registration system in California.

Background:
In 2008, young voter turnout across the country rose for the third time in as many presidential election cycles, according to an analysis by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). CIRCLE's analysis of raw turnout data found that the number of voters under 30 who showed up at the polls in 2008 increased by approximately 11 percent, while the number of older voters who cast a ballot increased by only 3 percent.

One of the ways to continue improving the youth voter turnout is to take down barriers to voter registration. One of the hurdles young voters face is the deadline for registration in California. Because young voters move much more often than older voters, they are forced to reregister more often as well. The current deadline of two weeks before the actual election creates an unnecessary barrier to getting these voters on the rolls.

AB 1436 will help remove this barrier by creating a system for citizens to register and vote after the normal voter registration deadline.

How it will work:
Between the voter registration deadline and up to and including election day a citizen may still register and vote in the election by visiting their county registrar’s office and filling out a “conditional” voter registration form and “provisional” ballot.

Conditional Registration: A conditional voter registration is considered effective if the county elections official is able to determine, before or during the canvass period for the election, that the registrant is eligible to register to vote and that the information provided matches records at the California Department of Motor Vehicles, or the federal Social Security Administration.

Provisional Ballot: In this case, a provisional ballot is counted in the official election canvass when the voter’s conditional registration is validated by the county elections official.

Support:
AACRE
ACLU                    
Advancement Project                    
All Education Matters                     
California Church Impact                    
California Civil Rights Coalition                    
California Common Cause                    
California Communities United Institute                     
California Labor Federation
California League of Conservation Voters                    
California National Organization for Women                    
California Participation Project                    
California State Conference of the NAACP                    
California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG)                    
County of Santa Clara Supervisor, Second District                    
Courage Campaign                    
Democracy for America                    
Democrats of North Orange County                    
Empower San Diego                    
Energy Action Coalition                    
Equality CA                    
Equal Justice Society                    
Fair Elections Legal Network                    
FairVote Action                    
Friends Committee on Legislation of California                    
Greenlining Institute                    
GROW I Planetpov.com                    
League of Women Voters of California                     
MALDEF                    
National Center for Lesbian Rights                    
National Council of Jewish Women California                    
National Council of Jewish Women Los Angels                    
Progressive States Action                    
Robert F. Kennedy Democratic Club                    
Rock the Vote                    
San Bernardino County Democratic Committee                    
SEIU                    
SW Voter Registration Education Project                    
University of California Student Association

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