ByÂ Josh Richman,Â Mercury News
Californians will be able to register to vote as late as Election Day, though not for a few years yet, under a bill signed Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The Golden State just last week implemented online voter registration, so as some states enact voter ID laws placing new strictures on voter access, California is heading in the opposite direction.
AB 1436 by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-West Hollywood, will let a Californian vote with a provisional ballot if he or she presents a properly completed registration form at his or her county elections office in the 14 days up to and including Election Day.
This law won’t take effect until the Secretary of State certifies VoteCal, the new statewide voter database; that’s expected to happen in 2015. The deadline to register for this November’s election remains Monday, Oct. 22.
Under the new law, a voter’s registration information must match data on file with the California Department of Motor Vehicles or the Social Security Administration; if not, the voter will be issued a unique identification number in order to confirm his or her eligibility before the ballot is counted. Fraud on such a form would be punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $25,000 fine.
The governor also signed bills Monday letting family members from the same household drop off each other’s vote-by-mail ballots at polling places, and letting county elections officials use information from credit-reporting agenciesÂ to update and maintain voter rolls.
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