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Critics say new voter law makes things too easy for non citizens - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Critics say new voter law makes things too easy for non citizens to vote

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Courtesy: CA DMV Courtesy: CA DMV

A new law is intended to knock down barriers to vote, but critics say the New Motor Voter Act makes it a little too easy for some people to take advantage.

Governor Jerry Brown signed a new measure over the weekend which automatically registers Californians to vote when we got to the DMV to get or renew our driver’s licenses.

Supporters of the bill say the measure was necessary after the dreadfully low 42 percent turnout at the polls during the last election, and tapping into DMV databases could help register 6.6 million eligible voters.

“We’ve got to do whatever we can to improve on that, but giving it away is not the answer,” said Assembly member Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo).

Critics say the law will make it easier for non-citizens to cast ballots, particularly in California where undocumented immigrants can apply for driver’s licenses.

Asm. Achadjian voted against the bill. “Mainly because it took proof of citizenship outside the equation, so you can go there with any renewal or get a new driver's license, you'll automatically be registered and that shouldn't be the case.”

The driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants are different, according to DriveCA.org, which shows “federal limits apply” on sample licenses.

Supporters say only eligible citizens will be registered to vote.

In a 2014 voter fraud investigation by Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, researchers found 31 credible incidents of voter fraud out of one billion ballots cast during a four year time period.

The Department of Motor Vehicles says it will implement the new law by establishing a schedule and method to electronically provide the Secretary of State (SOS) the records for each person who submits an application for a driver license, ID card or change of address.

“The New Motor Voter Act is scheduled to go into effect in January 2016, but the information will not be sent to the SOS until work is completed on a statewide database by the SOS, regulations are in place, and funding to implement is secured,” DMV Deputy Director Armando Botello said.

The DMV and SOS are working on a new voter registration database called VoteCal as a way to guard against voter fraud and is expected  to be ready next June in time for the presidential primary.

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