The California Assembly passed a major piece of voting rights legislation Thursday, bucking the trend of new voter suppression laws that have passed in other states like Texas and Florida.
AB 1436, which passed the Assembly by a 47–26 vote, would remove restrictions on when Californians could register to vote. If it becomes law, citizens would also be able to register at the polls on Election Day.
The AP has more:
Californians who forgot to register for next week’s election may have better luck next time if a bill passed by the Assembly becomes law. […]
Assemblyman Mike Feuer, a Democrat from Los Angeles, said he wrote the bill to address the state’s chronically low voter participation rate.
Right now, Californians are only allowed to register up to 15 days before an election. Passing AB 1436 would change that and significantly boost voter turnout in the Golden State.
In the nine states (plus Washington DC) that currently allow Election Day registration, studies have shown the legislation boosted voter turnout by seven percentage points. Most states that have implemented Election Day registration are small or medium-sized; California could pave the way for large states to embrace this important step in voting rights.
AB 1436 will now advance to the Senate, where Democrats enjoy a 25–15 advantage.