Governor Brown signs universal (automatic) voter registration bill


The state of California will join the state of Oregon in implementing universal (automatic) voter registration. It’s time for voter advocacy groups in Arizona to file a bill in the legislature and to file a ballot measure for universal voter registration in Arizona.

The San Jose Mercury News reports, Gov. Jerry Brown signs ‘motor voter’ law, voter registration through the DMV:

Voting-RightsLegislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed Saturday requires California drivers who are eligible to vote to be signed up automatically when they get a new license — a dramatic expansion of voting rights that could grow the state’s voter rolls by millions of people.

When Assembly Bill1461 takes effect in January, California will become the second state in the nation to adopt an automatic voter registration system at a time when many states are restricting their citizens’ right to vote. Oregon enacted a similar law earlier this year.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla first promised to expand access to the polls last year as a candidate on the campaign trail.

He sponsored the legislation and applauded Brown for taking swift action to help the 6.6 million Californians who are eligible but not yet registered to vote, noting that citizens need not “opt-in” to other fundamental rights such as free speech or due process.

“In a free society, the right to vote is fundamental,” Padilla said. “The New Motor Voter Act will make our democracy stronger by removing a key barrier to voting for millions of California citizens.”

Under the legislation, which was authored by San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat, Californians who are legal residents and who visit the DMV to apply for, renew or change the address on a driver license would be registered to vote by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Voters would still retain the right to cancel their registration or change their party affiliation at any time. The new law also would continue to protect those covered by existing confidentiality policies, such as victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Republican lawmakers voted against the measure, but its only other opponent was the American Civil Liberties Union. Since California’s DMV now issues driver’s licenses to immigrants who are living in the country illegally, the group fears those drivers will be registered to vote mistakenly, risking their ability to stay in the country. State and federal laws strictly forbid illegal immigrants from voting.

Wow, ACLU. Out of fear that some bureaucrat at the DMV will mistakenly register someone who is DACA/DAPA eligible for a license, and that an ineligible person might cast a vote, you would deny millions of eligible Californians the ability to register to vote automatically and to participate in elections.  I am disappointed in you.

UPDATE: A cursory review of Arizona newspapers and a Google search reveals that this landmark piece of legislation is not being reported in Arizona, other than here, unless you have better luck finding it (provide a link).  Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed how little actual news gets reported in the GOP-friendly news media in Arizona, unless it is to promote GOP candidates or elected officials.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.


  1. This legislation should form the core of a New Voter’s Bill of Rights Initiative that would automatically register all citizens of Arizona when they reach the age of 18. Time to get to work!

  2. In the same week, Alabama has moved to close many of its MVD offices across the state, making it much harder for many rural Alabama residents to obtain drivers licenses. We really do live in two Americas.
    There are now only six states with Democrats in control, hopefully they all do implement this groundbreaking voter access tool. Another 30 states are under Republican control, they will do everything they can to make it harder for poor people to vote.

    • And guess where those DMV offices are located? In mostly AA sections of town. They can not win unless they rig the system and cheat….so they will or become irrelevant and obsolete. This is why all of that that can vote, need to do so each and every time, each and every election. Without fail. For the people with no voice…which could be all of us if we don’t participate in what’s left of our democracy. Great point, Jim/

  3. One more link for Mr. Kavanagh…the man that told me that ALEC had no influence on gun laws and that I should review my “talking points”…

    People like Mr. Kavanagh, and all the predominantly Republicans like him, are fleecing the taxpayers and citizens of this state. He was elected to so the people’s work, instead, he swears allegiance to ALEC, takes a paycheck from taxpayers, and pushes model legislation that ALEC writes that undermines the people in favor of corporations. The people of AZ need to pay attention to what’s happening in their name and quit voting against their interests just because there’s an R behind someone’s name. Shame on you, Mr. Kavanagh…you flat out lied to me, and you thought I wouldn’t know any better…you have me confused with someone else. Don’t make that mistake again.

  4. I’m just going to put this here and I hope that you (AZBlueMeanie) can watch and pass it on…as will everyone here that visits this site…Oh, and Mr Kavanagh…pull up a chair and let reality smack you across the face. Hard.


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