Several Important Election Law Bills to be Heard in California Legislative Committees on June 19

The California Senate Elections Committee, and also the California Assembly Elections Committee, are both hearing election law bills on Tuesday, June 19. Unfortunately both committees are meeting simultaneously, at 1:30 p.m., so it is very difficult for anyone to attend both hearings.

The Senate Elections Committee hears AB 1436, the bill to allow individuals to register to vote on election day. This would eliminate a large number of provisional ballots. Under current law, individuals sometimes come into the polling place and believe they are registered to vote, but no record can be found for them. If same-day registration existed, such individuals could register on the spot. Such individuals would need a photo ID and proof of their residence address.

The Senate Elections Committee also hears AB 2058, to make it illegal to pay registration workers on a per-registration card basis. Because the only method for qualified parties to remain qualified is to keep their registration up to at least 1% of the last gubernatorial vote, this bill would injure qualified minor parties who are seeking to increase their registration. The Peace & Freedom Party formally opposes the bill and is expected to send a representative to testify against it.

Finally, the Senate Elections Committee hears AB 2410, which would prohibit someone who has been convicted of certain kinds of felonies from running for any public office for twenty years. As applied to federal office, the bill would violate the U.S. Constitution.

The Assembly Elections Committee will hear SB 1272, which would extend the terms of political party central committeemembers from two years to four years. Elections for that office would only be held in presidential election years.

The Assembly Elections Committee will also hear ACA 10, which would make it much more difficult to qualify a statewide initiative to alter the state Constitution. It would require signatures of 8% of the last gubernatorial vote from each of 27 State Senate districts. Currently the signatures for any initiative can be gathered from anywhere in the state.

3 comments

  1. Demo Rep · · Reply

    Where are the const. amdts for P.R. and nonpartisan App.V. ???

  2. Much of the harm AB 2058 would do to small parties specifically could be undone by reducing the number of registrants required to get and maintain ballot status. It is currently 1% of the vote in gubernatorial years (2010, 2014, etc.). If AB 2058 is amended to reduce that from 1% to 1/3%, the Peace and Freedom Party will support the bill instead of opposing it (in spite of disliking the ban on paying voter registration workers per signature).

    Top Two primaries have effectively removed the vote test for ballot status. So the registration test is the only way to stay on the ballot. Because of Top Two, the registration percentage needs to be lowered. That need would be intensified by making voter registration activities more expensive. So AB 2058 is a logical place for the legislature to fix this problem.

  3. Deemer from California · · Reply

    SB 1272 appears to be an bill to mollify the various County Clerks over having to list all of the Party County Committee candidates EVERY 2 years. It seems to me that having the elections during the Gubernatorial primary rather than during the Presidential years would even up the potential voter pool. With California’s Presidential primary back to June (seemingly at least for now) we’ve just seen how low the turn-out can be with both parties nominations finished. At least the Gubernatorial primary will ALWAYS have at least SOME of the Constitutional Offices vacant due to term limits which seems likely to draw out a larger more diversified pool of voters. At least this is one part of how I suggest the bill be amended.

    The other is allowing newly qualified parties to STILL be allowed ONLY on their first election to allow THEIR County Central Committee members be elected in the Presidential year state primary if the party had qualified for the ballot after the cut-off date for California’s Gubernatorial primary and also before the cut-off date for the Presidential year state primary. Essentially meaning during the second and third years of a Presidential term.

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