Monday, September 29, 2008

Online voter registration bill pending before Gov. Schwarzenegger

Senate Bill 381, authored by State Senator Ron Calderon, which would allow the Secretary of State to implement online voter registration, is pending before Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He has until September 30 to sign or veto the bill. The governor vetoed many election-related bills over the weekend, as was noted in this news release from Secretary of State Debra Bowen, but SB 381 was not among them.

According to this Senate floor analysis, the bill is supported by a wide range of groups and also received some support from a few Republican lawmakers; however, Department of Finance opposed the bill and it is unclear whether the governor will sign it or not. While it has some initial, up-front costs, the proponents and supporters have noted that there a substantial long-term savings for counties if online voter registration were implemented in California, as such a system would reduce administrative time and data-entry costs.

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