A New America idea to expand voter registration has been approved by the California Legislature
and signed into law by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. By uniformly setting the voter registration age at 17, AB 30 will encourage California's youth to get involved in the democratic process at an earlier age and stay involved as they grow older. Almost half of California's eligible voters in the critical 18-24 age bracket are not registered to vote. AB 30 has the potential to add thousands of them to the voter rolls.
New America Ideas Move Forward
Two New America ideas for voter registration were introduced into the California legislature by Senator Curren Price. AB 30, which will encourage more high school students to register to vote, has been signed into law. Another bill, AB 106, which would move California closer to automatic voter registration, was approved by the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting.
Improving on "Motor Voter"
Motor Voter was important legislation from the mid-1990s which mandated that DMV and other state agencies offer the opportunity for voter registration to everyone who uses their services. Despite this advancement, a whopping
7 million eligible Californians remain unregistered. To close this registration gap, New America has proposed a variety of ways to make voter registration "automatic." One way, for example, would be that any person who fills out a DMV or state income tax form would automatically be registered to vote (unless they were ineligible or opted out). New America will continue to explore ways to improve voter registration and participation and will share the results of our efforts with the public, the media and with California's decision-makers.