Resolution on California Universal Voter Registration


Resolution on California Universal Voter Registration

WHEREAS, the right to vote is the heart of American democracy, yet in every election millions of Californians are not registered to vote, and the number grows larger, and in 2014 a record low of only 31% of eligible voters voted, a downtrend started after WWII; and

WHEREAS, the other developed democracies have universal voter registration systems with near 90% of voters registered, resulting in a 63% to 90% Western Europe turnout, while in America voter registration is voluntary, much like voting itself, and state and local boards of election register voters resulting in millions of Californians unregistered, with highly unsatisfactory and declining turnout;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the California Democratic Party supports the following changes to the voting registration system to accomplish California universal voter registration: (1) Use existing government databases to automatically register to vote all U.S. citizens 18 years and older, similar to the new Oregon law which directs its DMV to provide the Secretary of State names of qualified electors to be registered. (2) Create a fail-safe policy to ensure voters left off the rolls can register and vote on election day. (3) Provide every U.S. citizen, upon birth or naturalization, a voter registration number similar to a social security number to be used in all elections and activated when a voter turns 18. (4) Set a voter pre-registration age of 16 years to automatically pre-register youth, tying this policy to a "national voting curriculum" in every high school. (5) Require U.S. citizens to register to vote when completing taxes or actively opt-out of the process. (6) Tie Post Office Change of Address forms to the voter registration database. (7) Require state or local governments to send every residence a notice of those registered at that location. Residents may then make changes as needed and return the updated form.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to all California Democratic state legislators, the California Secretary of State, and the Governor.

Sponsored by Santa Clara County Democratic Party

Adopted by the California Democratic Party
At its 2016 Summer Executive Board Meeting
Long Beach Convention Center

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