BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 111
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   June 11, 2013

                  ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON ELECTIONS AND REDISTRICTING
                                  Paul Fong, Chair
                     SB 111 (Beall) - As Amended:  March 6, 2013

           SENATE VOTE  :   36-0
           
          SUBJECT  :   Elections: voter signature.

           SUMMARY  :   Authorizes a registered voter or any person who is  
          eligible to vote and who qualifies as an authorized user, as  
          specified under existing law, to use a signature stamp that has  
          been approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and  
          transmitted to the Secretary of State (SOS) to submit an  
          affidavit of voter registration electronically on SOS's Internet  
          Web site.  Makes other corresponding changes. 

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Authorizes certain persons to use a signature stamp to affix a  
            signature to various elections documents.  Prohibits a voter  
            from using a signature stamp until the signature stamp is used  
            by the voter to sign an affidavit of registration in the  
            presence of a county elections official. 

          2)Requires the DMV and the SOS to develop a process and  
            infrastructure to allow the electronic copy of a person's  
            signature and other information to be transferred to the SOS  
            and to the county election management systems for the purpose  
            of allowing a person to register to vote electronically on the  
            SOS's Internet Web site. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to the Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state  
          costs.

           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Purpose of the Bill  :  According to the author:

               SB 111 updates the law by allowing a person who is unable  
               to sign their name, due to a disability, to use a signature  
               stamp that is filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles  
               (DMV) to complete their online voter registration  








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               application.

               The DMV currently allows people who cannot sign their names  
               to use a signature stamp when applying for a driver's  
               license or California identification card.  After the DMV  
               confirms the applicant's identity, it stores an electronic  
               copy of the signature stamp just as it stores traditional  
               signatures. 

               Under current law, people who use a signature stamp to sign  
               a voter registration affidavit must do so in the presence  
               of an election official, necessitating a trip to the local  
               elections office -- a task that may be burdensome for a  
               person with a disability. 

               SB 111 will streamline the voter registration process for  
               people who cannot sign their name by allowing them to  
               register vote online, thus creating equal access to online  
               voter registration for people using signature stamps.  

           2)Warren Mattingly Signature Stamp Act  :  In 2007, the Warren  
            Mattingly Signature Stamp Act was established by AB 18  
            (Blakeslee), Chapter 485, Statutes of 2007, and enabled a  
            person who, due to a disability, is unable to provide a  
            handwritten signature, to use a signature stamp in situtations  
            where the California Elections Code requires a signature.  For  
            example, a signature stamp can be used to sign a vote by mail  
            ballot identification envelope or an initiative petition.   
            Currently, after the DMV confirms an applicant's identity, it  
            stores an electronic copy of the signature stamp just as it  
            stores traditional signatures.  

          However, as mentioned above, current law only allows a  
            registered voter or any person who is eligible to vote and an  
            authorized user, as specified, to use a signature stamp only  
            after they submit an affidavit of registration in the presence  
            of a county elections official, using the signature stamp to  
            sign the affidavit.  

           3)Online Voter Registration  :  Last session, the Governor signed  
            SB 397 (Yee), Chapter 561, Statutes of 2011, which allowed  
            online voter registration to begin prior to the completion of  
            a new statewide voter registration database, if certain  
            conditions were met.  One of the conditions required the DMV  
            and the SOS to develop a process and infrastructure necessary  








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            to transfer the electronic copy of a person's signature from  
            the DMV to the SOS.  Currently, a person can fill out an  
            application online and authorize the use of their signature on  
            file with the DMV to "sign" the application.  This bill  
            expands online voter registration and allows an authorized  
            person, as specified under existing law, who has a signature  
            stamp approved for use by and on file with the DMV to use that  
            stamp to submit a voter registration application online  
            without having to also use the signature stamp in the presence  
            of their county elections official.  According to the author,  
            this bill will not only streamline the voter registration  
            process for people who cannot sign their name by allowing them  
            to register to vote online, but it will also create equal  
            access to online voter registration for people using signature  
            stamps.

           4)Arguments in Support  : The National Multiple Sclerosis Society  
            - California Action Network (MS-CAN) writes in support:

               MS-CAN has recognized the value of signature stamps for  
               disabled people in conducting their business and legal  
               activities and was a strong supporter of the Warren  
               Mattingly Signature Act, AB 18 (Blakeslee, Chapter 485,  
               Statutes of 2007).  Use of a signature stamp to register to  
               vote online will be of enormous assistance for disabled  
               individuals by removing a remaining obstacle to vote. 



























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           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support 
           
          Secretary of State (sponsor)
          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees  
          (AFSCME), AFL-CIO
          Association of Regional Center Agencies
          California Association of Clerks and Election Officials 
          California Common Cause
          California Council of the Blind
          California Foundation for Independent Living Centers
          California State Council of the Service Employees International  
          Union 
          California Teachers Association
          Disability Rights California
          National Multiple Sclerosis Society-California Action Network
          The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy in California
          United Cerebral Palsy of Sacramento and Northern California
           
            Opposition 
           
          None on file.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Nichole Becker / E. & R. / (916)  
          319-2094