California Bill to Make it Illegal to Pay Registration Workers on a Per-Registration Basis

Last year California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill to make it illegal for anyone to pay registration workers on a per-registration card basis. However, the same bill has been re-introduced. Assemblymember Richard Pan, and Senator Lou Correa, have amended a non-election law bill that already passed the Assembly so that it imposes the ban. It is AB 2058, and will probably have a hearing in the Senate Elections Committee in June. If passed, it would take effect on January 1, 2013.

The only way qualified parties can remain ballot-qualified in California is by having registration equal to 1% of the last gubernatorial vote, which currently is 103,004 members (however, this doesn’t go into effect until November 2014). Neither the Libertarian Party, nor the Peace & Freedom Party, have that many registered members. They only feasible way for parties to increase their registration substantially has always been to pay people on a per-registration card basis. Persuading strangers on the street to register into a minor party is very difficult work, and paying on a per-registration basis is the only realistic way to substantially increase a party’s registration.

The reason for the bill is that recently, Republican Party activists hired a company to increase the number of registered Republicans, and the people who were hired committed fraud. It does not necessarily follow that the fraud would have been prevented if the ban on paying per-registration card had been in effect.

3 comments

  1. Demo Rep · · Reply

    Gee – again

    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V.

    NO party hack registration lists are needed or wanted.

    They are now PURGE lists — See Hitler 1934 and Stalin 1937 purges.

  2. Jim Riley · · Reply

    Sooner or later the denial of the right of candidates who have a preference for a political party with relatively small support will be struck down.

    It is a contradiction of the California Constitution that says that voters will be able to vote for any candidate regardless of the candidate’s party preference. It is contrary to the Secretary of State’s advisory to county election officials just prior to the June 2010 primary, that voters affiliated with parties not participating in the primary were treated the same as DTS voters – but solely for that purpose. And it was contrary to the implementing legislation passed in 2009 at the time the amendment was proposed.

    California would be better off implementing party regulations like Florida, which ensure what a voter puts on their voter registration is indeed a “party” in a meaningful sense.

    Require a modest level of registration (say 100 persons), and only permit qualification by petition. After the implementation, any non-parties indicated on a voter registration form would be treated as no party (with the registrar informing the voter of that status).

    May the State of California discriminate on the expression of political viewpoints on the basis that they are not as popular as others?

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