Friday, September 11, 2015

No suppressing the vote for California!

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has surveyed state residents again about how we feel about our voting participation and arrangements.

Apparently people are distressed at how few people vote in midterm, off-year and primary elections. When asked, most say that if they don't vote, it is because of "lack of interest" or "time constraints." Latinos cite the latter as reason for not voting; white people name the former.

Some of the findings are very heartening because they point to simple remedies to low participation that are already in the works:

Solid majorities support automatic voter registration.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla—who set a goal of boosting voter participation by one million in his first term—has sponsored AB 1461, which would automatically register every eligible citizen who visits a DMV office to obtain or renew a driver’s license. Seven in 10 Californians (69%) and two in three likely voters (67%) favor this proposal. Support for this proposal is widespread, with more than six in 10 across regions and demographic groups in favor. Strong majorities of Democrats (79%) and independents (66%) support the idea, while Republicans are divided (49% favor, 48% oppose).

Californians also favor sending vote-by-mail ballots to all voters.
Secretary Padilla has also sponsored SB 450, which would mail every voter a ballot, expand early voting, and enable voters to cast a ballot at any voting center in their county. When asked about the idea of sending a vote-by-mail ballot to every registered voter, seven in 10 Californians (70%) and two in three likely voters (66%) are in favor. Democrats (76%) are the most likely to favor this proposal, followed by independents (67%) and Republicans (58%). More than six in 10 across regions and demographic groups are supportive.

California has a chance to set an example to other large, low-participation states if we can win these reforms.

1 comment:

Hattie said...

This moves in the right direction. California is leading the way.

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