Where Republican dominated states are restricting voting rights, California is expanding them:
Months after statewide voter turnout hit a historic low of 25% in this year's primary election, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed eight bills aimed at getting more Californians to participate in the political process.
The voting-related measures will allow absentee ballots mailed on election day to be counted as long as they arrive within three days, and will permit 16-year-olds to preregister to vote.
One bill prohibits disqualification of a voter on grounds that he or she signs the registration affidavit with a mark, cross or signature stamp.
"As we approach another election, these bills make it clear that California is committed to helping, not hindering, its citizens' ability to vote," said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor.
The new mail ballot law takes effect Jan. 1. Currently, mail ballots must be received by election day. State Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) said 23,220 absentee ballots were delivered too late to be counted in the June primary.
In the 2012 election, 85% of late ballots were postmarked by election day and came in within three days, he said.
"The right to vote is one of our most important civil liberties," said Correa, author of SB 29. "This bill will help ensure that all Californians make their voice heard through the ballot box."
You can read more at the Los Angeles Times.