SB 35 Will Increase Voter Registration Opportunities
*** Update! California stands alone in the nation in dramatically increasing—rather than suppressing—opportunities for voter registration among low-income voters, students and persons with disabilities with yesterday’s signing by Governor Jerry Brown of SB 35, Senator Alex Padilla’s bill to help qualified adults register to vote. Learn more. ***
Senator Alex Padilla has introduced SB 35, which will help qualified adults register to vote by requiring public assistance offices and other state-funded programs to comply with federal law by offering voter registration services.
The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) was signed into law in 1993 and sought to reduce barriers to and expand opportunities for voter registration by requiring public assistance offices and state-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities to offer voter registration services to applicants and clients at every agency and office in each state.
Unfortunately, in California voter registration at voter registration agencies has steadily declined since the NVRA was passed. SB 35 would reverse this trend by giving the Secretary of State the enforcement tools necessary to ensure that California is in compliance with the NVRA’s mandate.
By modernizing and outlining California’s NVRA obligations, SB 35 will result in a dramatic increase in voter registration among low-income voters, students and persons with disabilities throughout the state while at the same time bringing California into compliance with federal law.
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