BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                              Senator Carol Liu, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:             AB 2455            
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          |Author:    |Chiu                                                 |
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          |Version:   |May 3, 2016                                 Hearing  |
          |           |Date:    June 15, 2016                               |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:     |Yes             |
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          |Consultant:|Lynn Lorber                                          |
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          Subject:  Electronic voter registration:  public postsecondary  
          educational institutions


          NOTE:  This bill has been referred to the Committees on  
          Education and Elections and Constitutional Amendments.  A "do  
          pass" motion should include referral to the Committee on  
          Elections and Constitutional Amendments.

            SUMMARY
          
          This bill requires the California State University (CSU) and the  
          California Community Colleges (CCC) to implement a process and  
          the infrastructure to allow a person who enrolls at the  
          institution online to submit an affidavit of voter registration  
          electronically.

            BACKGROUND
          
          Existing law:

          1)   Authorizes a person who is qualified to register to vote  
               and who has a valid California driver's license or state  
               identification card to submit an affidavit of voter  
               registration electronically on the Internet Web site of the  
               Secretary of State.  (Elections Code  2196)

          2)   Requires a person who registers to vote online to assent  
               affirmatively to the use of his or her signature from his  
               or her driver's license or state identification card for  







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               voter registration purposes.  Requires the Secretary of  
               State (SOS) to obtain an electronic copy of the signature  
               of a person who registers to vote online directly from the  
               Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  
               (Elections Code  2260, et seq.)

          3)   Requires, pursuant to the Student Voter Registration Act,  
               every campus of the CCCs and CSU that operates an automated  
               class registration system to permit students, through the  
               automated registration process, to apply to register to  
               vote online by submitting an affidavit of voter  
               registration electronically on the SOS's Web site.   
               Existing law requests campuses of the University of  
               California to comply with this process.  (Elections Code   
               2146, et seq.)

          4)   Requires, pursuant to the California New Motor Voter  
               Program, the DMV to transfer records to the SOS of each  
               person who submits an application for a driver's license or  
               state identification card, or provides the DMV with a  
               change of address, and who attests that he or she meets all  
               voter eligibility requirements. Provides that the records  
               of a person that are transmitted from the DMV to the  
               Secretary of State (SOS) pursuant to this provision shall  
               constitute a completed affidavit of voter registration for  
               that person unless:

               a)        The person affirmatively declines to register to  
                    vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

               b)        The person does not attest that he or she meets  
                    all voter eligibility requirements while at the DMV.

               c)        The SOS determines that the person is not  
                    eligible to register to vote.  (Elections Code  2260)

            ANALYSIS
          
          This bill:

          1)   Requires the California State University (CSU) and the  
               California Community Colleges (CCC), and request the  
               University of California (UC), by July 1, 2018, to  
               implement a process and the infrastructure to allow a  








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               person who enrolls online at the institution to submit an  
               affidavit of voter registration electronically on the  
               Secretary of State's (SOS) Web site in accordance with  
               existing law.
          
          2)   States legislative intent to take preliminary measure  
               towards the establishment of an automatic voter  
               registration system for California citizens enrolled at  
               state public college and university campuses.

          STAFF COMMENTS
          
          1)   Need for the bill.  According to the author, "In 2014,  
               18-24 year-olds had the lowest turnout of all age groups:  
               only 285,000 of 3.5 million eligible young adult voters  
               turned out to vote.  For young people in particular, the  
               process of registering to vote can be a deterrent and can  
               present obstacles that affect their ability to register and  
               vote at greater levels.  Young people have higher rates of  
               geographic mobility, which affects how frequently they must  
               update their voter registration information.  When young  
               voters move or their information changes (like when they go  
               to college), their registration records may not be updated,  
               effectively keeping them off of the voter rolls."

          2)   Another venue.  Existing law every campus of the CCC and  
               CSU that operates an automated class registration system to  
               permit students, through the automated registration  
               process, to apply to register to vote online by submitting  
               an affidavit of voter registration electronically on the  
               SOS's Web site.  Campuses achieve this by providing a link  
               to the SOS Web site on the college's online course  
               registration, whereby students submit an affidavit of voter  
               registration electronically to the SOS.  This bill  
               essentially requires campuses to provide this link when  
               students enroll at the campus online.  

          3)   Annual report.  Existing law requires the SOS to submit an  
               annual report to the Legislature on its student voter  
               registration efforts.  The report is to include estimates  
               as to how many voter registration forms were sent to high  
               schools, campuses of the California Community College  
               (CCC), California State University (CSU) and University of  
               California (UC); how many voter registration forms were  








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               submitted; and how many electronic affidavits of voter  
               registration were submitted by students.  According to the  
               2015 report, 14,669 students at CCC, CSU and UC campuses  
               completed a voter registration application online through  
               the course registration process.   
               [http://admin.cdn.sos.ca.gov/reports/2015/student-voter-regi 
               stration.pdf]

          4)   Motor Voter.  This bill states that it is the intent of the  
               Legislature to take preliminary measures towards the  
               establishment of an automatic voter registration system for  
               California citizens enrolled at state public college and  
               university campuses.  According to the Assembly Elections  
               and Redistricting Committee analysis, "if the desire is to  
               eventually move toward a voter registration process at  
               colleges and universities that is similar to the  
               [California New Motor Voter (CNMVP)] process, there are a  
               number of obstacles that will need to be overcome before  
               such a process is feasible.  Unlike the Department of Motor  
               Vehicles (DMV), the CSU and CCC systems do not typically  
               have digitized signatures on file for their customers  
               (students).  Furthermore, the type of interface that the  
               DMVs computers have with the state's voter registration  
               system does not exist with the CSU and CCC systems.  In  
               light of these facts, any future attempt to implement a  
               CNMVP-like the process at the CSU and CCC, systems will  
               face obstacles that did not exist for implementing the  
               program with the DMV.  Furthermore, such a program at the  
               CSU and CCC system will reach a substantially smaller  
               portion of the eligible voter population than the CNMVP  
               will reach through the DMV."

          5)   Technical amendment to be taken in Elections Committee.   
               The provisions of this bill are located in the Chapter of  
               the Elections Code related to online voter registration  
               (Section 2196, et seq.).  Staff recommends an amendment to  
               relocate the provisions of this bill to the Chapter of the  
               Elections Code related to the Student Voter Registration  
               Act (Section 2146, et seq.).  This bill has been  
               double-referred to the Elections and Constitutional  
               Amendments Committee; due to timing, this amendment should  
               be adopted in the Elections Committee.

          6)   Fiscal impact.  According to the Assembly Appropriations  








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               Committee's analysis, this bill would impose minor  
               absorbable costs to CSU and the CCC to provide, through  
               online course registration, a link to the SOS's online  
               voter registration Web site.

            SUPPORT
          
          California Common Cause
          California Secretary of State Alex Padilla
          Student Senate for California Community Colleges
          University of California





            OPPOSITION
           
           Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

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