Last Saturday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will make every Republican cringe. Under the guise of “voter fraud,” Republicans have worked tirelessly for the past eight or so years to suppress the votes of the poor and minorities, a huge block of voters who typically vote blue. California’s new law does the exact opposite, automatically registering people eligible to vote in the state unless they purposely opt out.
California, which is one of the country’s bastions of Democratic superpower, has had issues with low voter turnout. In the 2014 election, just 42 percent of registered voters went to the polls. The new law is meant to prevent people who want to vote from being turned away because they lacked information or simply didn’t know how to register to vote. Secretary of State Alex Padilla said that last fall more than 40,000 people logged onto the Secretary of State website to register on election day, but it was too late.
Padilla told ThinkProgress that 6.6 million Californians who are eligible but not registered could be helped through the process with automatic registration:
Citizens are currently forced to opt-in to their fundamental right to vote through registration. We do not have to opt-in to other rights. We do not have to opt-in to free speech or due process. The right to vote should be no different.
Padilla authored the bill and pushed for its passage. Republicans certainly won’t be happy, as people registered to vote automatically could jeopardize congressional seats in the few pockets of Republican resistance left in the country’s most powerful electoral state. Imagine if every housekeeper, butler and personal chef quartered in a mansion in Orange County suddenly counted as a potentially blue vote. Those last strongholds of Republican ignorance, already weakened in recent years, could potentially fall to the blue side of the political spectrum, leaving the more populated areas of California virtually Republican-free havens and securing 55 electoral votes until the end of time.
Featured image via democracy.com