SB 57 to Make Voter Registration Optional at DMV, Fails By Partisan Vote

SACRAMENTO, CA (KMJ) – SB 57 which would have made voter registration optional at the California DMV is shot down by a partisan vote.

Senate Bill 57 died Tuesday in the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee.

It was authored by Senator Patricia Bates, a Republican from Laguna Niguel, and co-authored by members of the California Senate Republican Caucus, who said it would have helped to fix the Democrats’ failed Motor Voter Program.

Since the motor voter program has been implemented, there have been reports of inaccurate party registrations and the registration of non-u.s. citizens.

Members of the California Senate Republican Caucus reacted to SB 57’s failure:

Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (Bakersfield): “Legislative Republicans have warned Democrats about the flawed Motor Voter program. Since its implementation, there have been nonstop problems. Election integrity is imperative to a fair democracy. Let’s be clear this vote by Senate Democrats was against election integrity.”

Senator Patricia Bates (Laguna Niguel): “Given that the Secretary of State’s office and the DMV have underplayed well-documented problems with automatic registration, today’s outcome was not a surprise. The decision to register to vote should be made by the individual – not the state. Those who oppose my bill fail to appreciate that an ‘opt-in’ process gives citizens more control over their own voter registrations and reduces opportunities for errors and fraud. I will continue to fight for election integrity, including working with my colleagues to make a simple fix to provide clarity to customers who visit DMV offices.”

Senator Andreas Borgeas (Fresno): “As the DMV wrestles with solving many of its own problems, Californians should not be left doubting the integrity of our elections.”

Click to hear the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern: