California Legislature Backs Election Day Registration

Amid efforts in dozens of other states to restrict voting rights, Common Cause hailed action by lawmakers in the nation’s largest state on Tuesday to make it easier for citizens to cast ballots.

The California Legislature approved Assembly Bill 1436, Election Day Voter Registration, and sent it to Governor Jerry Brown for signature. This legislation would allow eligible voters to register and vote up to and on Election Day. Current California law limits voter registration to two weeks prior to Election Day. Election Day Voter Registration will be used by hundreds of thousands of voters each election when fully implemented.

“California can set an example for the nation,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. While other governors seem preoccupied with passing voter ID laws to keep minorities, the elderly and veterans – among others – away from the polls, Gov. Brown has a chance to remove a barrier to voting for Golden State residents.

AB 1436 was backed by Common Cause and over two dozen other public interest and voting rights organizations. With Gov. Brown’s signature, it will be implemented after the State certifies a federally mandated voter registration database, better known as VoteCal. VoteCal’s expected completion date is 2015.