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Alex Padilla
California, drive carefully toward 'motor voter' law
California, drive carefully toward 'motor voter' law

In his first major act since taking office, Secretary of State Alex Padilla was smart to focus on California's chronic voting problem. Turnout in the last statewide election was a mere 42% — a new low. Without serious intervention it seems likely to continue to decline. So last week Padilla unveiled legislation, carried by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), under which anyone applying for a new California driver's license, or renewing an old one, would be automatically registered to vote. This Oregon-style “motor voter” law would not require any action on the part of the applicant, although it would include an opt-out provision. Such a change...