When Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 1461, the New Motor Voter Act, he ushered in a new chapter of California electoral history. The law seeks to boost California’s recent record-low election turnout rates with a new system of automated registration.
Under existing law, citizens must register to vote before they can cast a ballot. The new law all but eliminates this step by registering anyone who applies for a new driver’s license, renews an old one or updates an address with the DMV, unless they opt out. With the stroke of a pen, California is now at the vanguard of American voting reform.
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