FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 4, 2015
Contact: Sam Mahood, (916) 653-6575
SACRAMENTO – Californians overwhelmingly support election reforms proposed by Secretary of State Alex Padilla aimed at improving voter registration and voter turnout.
The results from a statewide survey, released by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), found that 69% of California adults favor registering all eligible citizens to vote when they go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The California New Motor Voter Act, AB 1461, proposes to do just that. The bill, sponsored by Secretary Padilla and jointly authored by Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez, Luis Alejo, and Kevin McCarty; was approved by the State Assembly this week.
The poll also found 70% of California adults favor sending every registered voter a vote-by-mail ballot. Currently, California citizens must request a vote-by-mail ballot when registering to vote.
Also, more than eight in ten California adults say that low voter turnout is a problem, and 59% called it a big problem.
“The results are undeniable—Californians want their government to make voter registration and voting easier,” Secretary Padilla said. “We can and should seamlessly register millions of California citizens to vote.”
Approximately 6.6 million California citizens are eligible but not registered to vote.
“Working Californians lead busy lives. 30% of citizens who don’t always vote say it’s because they are “too busy” or have “no time.” By making voting more convenient in California, we strengthen our democracy,” said Padilla.
Secretary Padilla recently traveled to Colorado to meet with election officials and see firsthand how reforms—including mailing every voter a ballot—have increased voter turnout and reduced costs of elections. Colorado is considered a national leader in election administration. Despite historically low turnout across the nation in 2014, Colorado had the third highest voter turnout in the nation.
Earlier this year Padilla announced his support for Oregon’s new voter registration law, calling it a good model for California.