Voter Registration Bill Remedies Lack of Place of Birth Now Before Gov. Brown

California Assembly member Das Williams has successfully carried Assembly Bill 131, a voter registration bill, through the state legislature to provide that a person’s failure to identify his or her place of birth on an affidavit of registration would not preclude his or her affidavit from being deemed complete.  AB 131 has been enrolled and presented to the Governor for his consideration.

AB 131 addresses the existing state law allows county elections officials to process voter registration applications even when certain information has not been provided by the applicant.  For example, if no middle name or initial is shown on the voter registration card, it is presumed that none exists.  However, if an applicant does not list a place of birth, the law requires county elections officials to contact the voter before processing the voter registration card.

California election officials are required to accept the federal registration application which does not require applicants to identify their place of birth, and both the current California voter registration affidavit, and the Federal Voter registration form require that a voter declare under penalty of perjury that he or she is a citizen of the United States.

If Governor Brown signs AB 131, this voter registration bill would clarify that if a registrant fails to identify his or her place of birth, it is presumed that he or she is eligible to register to vote as long as he or she marked the box stating that he or she is a citizen of the United States and signs the affidavit under penalty of perjury.  Additionally, AB 131 would protect voting rights and assists counties with cost savings by removing the mandate to contact registrants and obtain this information.


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