California Secretary of State Debra Bowen is offering a new online voter registration system to encourage people to sign up without all the fuss of paper, pen and putting in a personal appearance. A computer - with safeguards to check for fraud - pulls up other files such as a driver's license record or California ID from the DMV to get a digital image of the voter's signature.
(California Sec. of State Debra Bowen with Marilyn Grunwald, Chair of the California Democratic Party's Disabilities Caucus and candidate for LAUSD Board in 2013 at recent Stonewall Young Democrats HEROES Awards. Photo by Karen Ocamb)
"The main reasons people don't register to vote is simply because they were never asked. Now asking will just take a quick email or text message," Bowen said at a news conference.
There are nearly 24 million Californians eligible to vote - but 6.5 million aren't registered. To those of us who remember or have read about the deadly struggles of women and of African Americans and other minorities such as the disabled to access their right to vote - and the struggles now to fight state ID laws and the efforts at voter suppression - the fact that someone can use their smartphone to register just boggles the mind.
The deadline to register to vote in California for the November elections is October 22nd.