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.