Print Version (PDF)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 2019
SOS Press Office
Governor Newsom Signs Elections Legislation Supported by Secretary of State Alex Padilla
SACRAMENTO, CA – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed legislation to expand Same-Day voter registration and create the Student Civic and Voter Empowerment Program. These elections related bills were supported by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
“Same-Day voter registration is one of our most powerful tools to ensure every eligible citizen can cast a ballot,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “Building on its popularity in 2018, Same Day voter registration will be expanded to all polling places across the state. California continues to remove barriers to the ballot box and make it easier for eligible citizens to exercise their right to vote.”
“Since 2016, the Secretary of State’s office has led the California Students Vote Project, an innovative public-private partnership to improve civic participation by college and university students,” Padilla added. “Our 2018 University and College Ballot Bowl helped more than 10,000 students register to vote in the weeks leading up to Election Day. The new Student Civic and Voter Empowerment Program will lead to even greater collaboration between the Secretary of State’s office and California’s colleges and universities. Working together we can equip our students with the tools and information they need to become active citizens and develop lifelong voting habits.”
Senate Bill 72, authored by Senator Tom Umberg, expands access to conditional voter registration—also known as Same-Day voter registration—to every polling location across California. Previously, conditional voter registration was only available at county elections offices, designated satellite locations, or vote centers (in counties that adopted the Voter’s Choice Act).
Conditional voter registration is a safety net for Californians who miss the deadline to register to vote or update their voter registration information for an election. Eligible citizens who miss the deadline can go in-person to register and vote conditionally. Their ballots are processed once the county elections office has completed the voter registration verification process. Voters can complete the conditional voter registration process the 14 days prior to, and on Election Day.
In the 2018 General Election, over 57,000 conditional voter registration ballots were cast.
Assembly Bill 963, authored by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris, creates the framework for more effective outreach to increase student civic engagement. The new Student Civic and Voter Empowerment Program will be conducted by the Secretary of State, in partnership with the California Community Colleges (CCC), the California State University (CSU), and the University of California (UC).
This new law requires each CCC and CSU campus, and requests each UC campus to:
- Distribute, in consultation with the Secretary of State, campus-wide emails to all students with specified voting- and election-related dates and information, and to include specified dates on all print and online academic calendars,
- Post social media reminders to students of specified voter-related dates and information, and
- Designate one person per campus as the Civic and Voter Empowerment Coordinator, who will develop a Civic and Voter Empowerment Action Plan.
The Secretary of State will be required to evaluate the program each year, and report results to the Legislature.