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Election-day voter registration advances in California Legislature

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Hoping to boost voter turnout, state lawmakers have advanced a measure that would allow citizens to register to vote on election day.

Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) said his bill would replace the current rule requiring voters to register at least 15 days before an election.

 “This bill helps assure all eligible Californians will have the chance to determine who speaks for them in Washington, Sacramento and their home towns,” Feuer said after AB 1436 was approved Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Elections. It has previously been approved by the state Assembly.

The measure was supported by several open-government and civil liberties groups including California Common Cause and the ACLU. If approved by the full Senate and signed by the governor, the bill would make California one of 10 states that allow voter registration on election day, said Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause.

"States with election day registration get a broader demographic to participate in the process," Feng said. "When people can register at the same time as they vote — they don't have to mail anything in, they don't have to go to the DMV — we’ll have greater turnout numbers."

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--Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: Voters cast their ballots at Mariscos Las Sirenita Restaurant June 5 in Van Nuys. Credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times

 
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