California will have automatic DMV voter registration
Governor Jerry Brown of California has signed a law making registration to vote automatic when residents obtain or renew their drivers' licenses. The law will add millions of voters to the rolls by the time of the 2016 election.
The irony here is rich; we can use a drivers' license to register to vote but we can't require the showing of that license in order to cast a ballot?
The record-low 42% turnout at the polls in last November's state election spurred legislation that will allow eligible Californians to be automatically registered to vote when they obtain or renew a driver's license at the DMV.
The measure, which Brown signed Saturday with 13 other bills related to elections, permits people to opt out of registration if they choose.
The new laws will "help improve elections and expand voter rights and access in California," said a statement from Brown's office.
About 6.6 million eligible Californians have not registered to vote, according to Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who sponsored the measure.
"The New Motor Voter Act will make our democracy stronger by removing a key barrier to voting," Padilla said Saturday. "Citizens should not be required to opt into their fundamental right to vote. We do not have to opt into other rights such as free speech or due process."
Voting rights activists note that the registration gap is widest among young people. Only 52% of eligible Californians between 18 and 24 were registered to vote before the last election, according to Emily Rusch, a voting rights activist and executive director at the California Public Interest Research Group.
The law takes effect Jan. 1, but the new registration process will not be offered until the state completes work on a new database. That is expected around June 2016, the time of the presidential primary election.
The bill's author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), cautioned that registering more voters will not increase turnout unless candidates do more to engage voters.
"It's going to lead to millions more Californians being registered to vote, which means more people we can talk to," she said Saturday.
California allows illegal aliens to get a special drivers' license which isn't supposed to be included in the blanket DMV registration. Not to worry. There are up to a million illegals in California who already possess fake drivers'licenses. Besides, there's no voter ID law in California os who knows who's voting on election day anyway?
This would actually be a good idea if the program were carefully administererd and the voter rolls purged regularly of those ineligble to vote. But since this is a blatant attempt to create more Democratic voters, the last thing state authorities are going to be is careful.