Press Release

Senator Dave Min Announces Bill to Prevent Unlawful Voter ID Requirements

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, Senator Dave Min introduced Senate Bill (SB) 1174 to prohibit local governments from imposing voter identification (ID) requirements in local elections. Amidst a growing wave of local election interference, SB 1174 puts a stop to cities, including charter cities, seeking to exploit loopholes in state law that guard against racial bias and other forms of discrimination that often follow ID requirements – particularly with respect to photo IDs. In addition to communities of color, seniors are vulnerable to a variety of barriers if they no longer drive, while women face a unique set of challenges due to name changes in a marriage or divorce.

“Healthy democracies rely on robust access to the polls. That’s why in California we follow the facts when it comes to the overwhelming body of evidence that voter ID laws only subvert voter turnout and create barriers to law abiding voters,” said Senator Min. “During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, California made the historic move to mail ballots directly to voters and to make voting by mail easier than it ever has been. This has been an overwhelming success, and proponents of voter ID requirements have not produced evidence of a single documented case of voter fraud. At the same time, we know that voter ID laws can make it more difficult for seniors, people of color, young people, and other historically marginalized groups from participating in our democracy. I am proud to introduce SB 1174 to prevent this practice in Huntington Beach and any other city that wants to constrain the voting rights of Californians.” 

The City of Huntington Beach is the latest example of a local municipality that has taken steps to implement voter ID requirements. Last year, the City Council put forward a charter amendment to be voted on in the March Primary Election that would apply voter ID requirements to city elections. The proponents of this proposal have not identified a single documented case of voter fraud in Huntington Beach that would justify this change. To the extent that this amendment also would potentially impact county, state, and federal elections, it also puts the City in likely violation of existing state and federal laws.

California is one of 15 states that does not have voter ID laws. Instead, election officials conduct signature verification checks to confirm voter legitimacy. Additional safeguards are in place, such as counties being required to recount a portion of their ballots for accuracy and the ability for voters to track their ballots.

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