California, one of the best performing states for voting rights, is increasingly becoming a mail-in voting state and provides substantial opportunities for registration and voting access.
Contact your legislator using the FIND MY LEGISLATOR button below with this message of support for voting rights reform in California.
Automatic Voter Registration- California has automatic voter registration administered at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Residents renewing or acquiring a driver’s license have to opt-out of registering to vote. Other agencies are not included in automatic voter registration.
RECOMMENDATION: Expand AVR to other state agencies.
Online Voter Registration- Online voter registration is available for voters, with voters as young as 16 able to pre-register to vote. The voter registration application is available in Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese, in addition to English.
Same-Day Registration- California offers same-day registration. If a voter did not register by the 15-day voter registration deadline, the voter may conditionally register and cast a provisional ballot, which will be counted if California voting criteria are met.
Voter ID Requirement- No Voter ID is required, unless the voter registered by mail and did not provide a driver’s license, state ID, or the last four digits of their social security number. In that case, the voter may be asked for identification on his or her first time voting. Acceptable forms of ID in that case include utility bills or any document sent by a government agency.
Early Voting- Ample early voting is provided, beginning 29 days before Election Day and concluding on Election Day. Voters do not have to provide an excuse for being unable to vote on Election Day.
No Excuse Absentee-All voters are eligible to vote by absentee ballot. No special eligibility requirements are needed.
Mail-In Voting- Elections in California are increasingly conducted by mail, with many voters electing to choose this approach over traditional Election Day voting. Five counties have now begun to mail all voters ballots under the Voter’s Choice Act.
Felon Re-Enfranchisement- The right to vote is restored upon completion of sentence and parole; the returning citizen is required to re-register online or by mail.
RECOMMENDATION: Enact Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 6, the “Free the Vote Act,” and AB 646, which would restore voting rights to every citizen on parole in California.
Voter Bill of Rights- A clear voter bill of rights is provided on the Secretary of State’s website.
Polling Hours- Polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm, providing 13 hours of polling time.
RECOMMENDATION: Extend voting hours to 14 hours to match leading states’ open time.
Wait Time Service Standard- California, like other states, does not have a wait time standard. However, the increasing use of mail-in voting reduces the criticality of this element.
RECOMMENDATION: Develop a wait time service standard, and/or continue to promote, and increase access to, mail-in voting options.
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