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Sec’y of State Alex Padilla wants to #BoostTheVote

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla wants your help in figuring out ways to boost the Golden State’s voter participation.

“As I campaigned across the state last year, I said that increasing voter registration and turnout, protecting voting rights, and making it easier to start a business would be three of my top priorities as Secretary of State,” he said in an email to supporters Wednesday. “Let’s start with the first issue — getting more voters engaged in our democracy. California had a record low turnout in the November 2014 election. While I shared some ideas to increase turnout during the election, I know I don’t have all the answers.”

Padilla wants people to offer their single best recommendations either through his non-official website, or in social-media posts hashtagged #BoostTheVote.

“The best ideas often come from citizens who are passionate about making a difference and moving us forward,” Padilla said.

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Voter registration bills pass out of Assembly committee

The New America Foundation, a Washington, D.C. think tank with an office in Sacramento, is touting a bill in California that would allow the state to automatically register to vote all residents who fill out a form at the Department of Motor Vehicles or file a state tax return.

AB30 passed out of an Assembly elections committee yesterday.

Lawmakers also gave the nod to a related bill, AB106, would preregister all 16-year-olds in the hopes it will foster more interest in politics prior to automatic registration at age 18.

There has been considerable debate over the years over how to increase voter participation but it remains an open question as to whether an automatic registration process will translate into actual voting.

Here’s the press release from the New America Foundation:

Sacramento, CA–The New America Foundation applauded the advancement of two bills designed to increase the number of Californians who are registered to vote.  The bills, AB 30 (Price) and AB 106 (Price), were approved yesterday by the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting by a solid 5-1 vote. If passed, the bills would make great strides toward bringing California closer to 100 percent voter registration.

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