FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2016
Sam Mahood (916) 653-6575
SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Padilla issued the following statement on the recent Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) report on California voter turnout.
“PPIC’s recent report on California voter turnout recommends that policymakers need to take action to encourage more citizens to cast a ballot. I agree, and that’s why I’m sponsoring Senate Bill 450, which would expand early voting and enable voters to cast a ballot at any vote center within their county, allowing voters to decide when, where, and how they vote.”
“Unfortunately, the recent PPIC report does not fully recognize the impact of significantly modernizing California elections. SB 450 would expand early voting and enable voters to cast a ballot at any vote center within their county, allowing voters to decide where, when and how they vote. As proposed, SB 450 would provide every voter a ballot 30 days before Election Day, provide 10 days of in-person early voting, and allow same day registration at vote centers throughout counties. We should embrace the positive impact of same day registration, access to a ballot, and flexibility in casting a ballot.”
Voting by mail is becoming increasingly popular with Californians—in the 2014 General Election, 60% of ballots were cast by mail. The results from a statewide survey, released by PPIC, found 70% of California adults favor sending every registered voter a vote-by-mail ballot. Currently, California citizens must request a vote-by-mail ballot when registering to vote.
In their 2011 report “Election Day Voter Registration in California” Michael Alvarez of the California Institute of Technology and Jonathan Nagler of New York University look at the potential impact of widely available Same Day (or Conditional) Voter Registration. The report concludes that under a widely available Same Day registration program,
• Overall turnout could go up by 4.8 percent.
• Turnout among those aged 18 to 25 could increase by 9.0 percent.
• Turnout for those who have moved in the last six months could increase by 7.3 percent.
• Turnout for Latinos and newly-naturalized citizens could each rise by 5.1 percent.
“As President Obama noted recently, in 2012 and 2014, the states with the highest voter turnout all offered same-day voter registration,” Padilla added.