Governor Signs Beall's Bill to Streamline Online Voter Registration

August 27, 2013

SACRAMENTO – On Jan. 1, California’s elderly and people with disabilities will be allowed to use an electronic signature stamp to register to vote over the Secretary of State’s online system after Sen. Jim Beall’s legislation was signed Monday by Gov. Brown.

“Today, we’ve made it easier for California’s seniors and people with disabilities to exercise their right to vote,’’ Beall said. “Senate Bill 111 means they will no longer have to rely on someone else to transport them so they can register to vote. Now, they can register from the convenience and safety of their own home. ‘’

Under SB 111,  a person who is unable to sign their name will be permitted to use a signature stamp that is filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles to complete their online voter registration application. Currently, the DMV lets people who can’t sign their names to use a signature stamp when applying for a driver’s license or an identification card. Once the DMV confirms the applicant’s identity, it stores an electronic copy of the signature stamp just as it stores traditional signatures

Before the passage of the bill, citizens who use a signature stamp to sign a voter registration affidavit were required to do so in the presence of an election official, necessitating a trip to the local registrar of voters – a task that can be too burdensome for a person with disabilities.

SB 111 was sponsored by Secretary of State Debra Bowen.  It was supported by many organizations, including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers; Disability Rights California; the California Disability Community Action Network; the California Council of the Blind, United Cerebral Palsy; the ARC California; California Common Cause; and the California Association of Clerk and Election Officials.