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PNS Daily Newscast - February 23, 2018 


As the NRA doubles down on "good guys with guns," the Broward County Sheriff admits an armed deputy did not engage with the Parkland school shooter. Also on our nationwide rundown: workers across the nation will spend part of their weekend defending the American Dream; and a study says the Lone Star State is distorting Texas history lessons.

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California's "Motor Voter Act" Idles on Governor's Desk

On National Voter Registration Day, Californians await the fate of a bill that would allow them to register to vote when they apply for or renew a driver's license. Credit: Alex Roibu/iStockphoto.
On National Voter Registration Day, Californians await the fate of a bill that would allow them to register to vote when they apply for or renew a driver's license. Credit: Alex Roibu/iStockphoto.
September 22, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today marks National Voter Registration Day, and a major change to the way California registers its voters sits on the governor's desk awaiting his signature.

Assembly Bill 1461 would require the Department of Motor Vehicles to automatically register residents to vote when they apply for, or renew, their California driver's license or state I.D. card – unless that person specifically opts out.

Trudy Schafer, senior director for programs with the League of Women Voters of California, says the system would include new keypads that enable license applicants to fill out one form for both the license and voter registration.

"It asks you your party preference, and asks if you want to be a permanent vote-by-mail voter," she says. "It lets you do all of the work that would give you the kind of information we think everybody needs with every election."

An estimated 7 million Californians are eligible to vote but are not registered.

Schafer says the bill specifies that non-citizens applying for driver licenses are excluded from the voter registration. She would like the governor to direct the DMV to get the changes in place right away.

"We would like him to make it very clear that the DMV should start implementing the streamlined voter registration early in 2016," she says. "It should happen before the June primary."

Governor Brown has until Oct. 11 to sign some 600 bills, veto them, or let them become law without a signature.

Additional voter information is available at the California Secretary of State website at registertovote.ca.gov.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA