June 1, 2009
Pursuant to Elections Code Section 9005, we have
reviewed the proposed initiative related to voter identification at
polling places (A.G. File No. 09‑0008, Amdt. #1-S).
Voting Requirements. Federal law
requires first time voters who register by mail to provide
identification at some point in the voting process (either when
registering or voting). If identification is not provided, first time
voters can still cast a "provisional" ballot. Provisional ballots are
conditional ballots, with voting eligibility confirmed after the
election. Other voters are not required to show identification when they
vote in person at polling places.
Active Duty Military Voting Requirements.
Under current law, ballots cast by active duty military personnel are
accepted if received by the elections official no later than the close
of the polls on election day.
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Fees for
Identification. The DMV assesses fees for new and replacement
identification cards. These fees are $20 for most individuals. For
individuals that meet certain low-income eligibility requirements, the
fee is $6. There is no charge for seniors.
statutory initiative makes various changes to state voting practices.
Requires Identification for Voting at
Polling Place. This measure requires all voters who vote in
person at polling places to show picture identification. Poll
workers would be required to confirm a voter's identity and record
the form of identification used. Voters not providing the required
identification could still cast provisional ballots.
Allows More Time to Submit Active Duty
Armed Forces Ballots. Active Duty Armed Forces ballots would
be accepted by an elections official if they are signed and dated
(or postmarked) by the election day and are received by an election
official no later than 15 days after election day.
Waives Fees for Identifications Used to
Vote. Any fees associated with obtaining a valid
identification card for the purpose of voting at a polling place
would be waived.
Counties determine how many precincts and poll
workers to use at each election based on the number of expected voters
and the time it takes for each voter to cast a ballot. This measure
would increase government costs (primarily counties) by:
Requiring additional information to be verified
at polling places.
Potentially increasing the number of
provisional ballots cast, which take longer to process than standard
Extending the time allowed for receipt of
ballots cast by active duty military personnel, which could increase
the number of vote by mail ballots cast and reviewed by county
Further, the DMV collects in the range of
$26 million in fee revenues each year from new and replacement
identification issuances. To the extent that individuals requested
identification cards for the stated purpose of voting in a polling
place, there could be reductions in the amount of fees collected by the
state for new and replacement identification cards. These increased
costs and reductions in fee revenues would likely not be significant.
Fiscal Summary. This measure would
have the following fiscal impact:
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