Automatic voter registration sought in California

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Every eligible Californian would be automatically registered to vote under legislation Secretary of State Alex Padilla is exploring.

"If government knows who's here, who's 18, who's a citizen, why go through hoops?" Padilla said in an interview. "Let's just register folks automatically."

The proposal follows Oregon's new, first-in-the-nation policy sending ballots to every citizen who has made contact with the state's Department of Motor Vehicles. Padilla was elected to his post last year after a campaign in which he vowed to expand California's often-miniscule voter participation rates. In addition to the many voters who stay home on Election Day, Padilla's office estimated that nearly 7 million people eligible to vote have not signed up to do so.