News

California Bill to Ban Locally Adopted Voter ID Requirements Advances

California Bill to Ban Locally Adopted Voter ID Requirements Advances

California state Sen. Dave Min speaks to reporters in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Oct. 6, 2021. (Eugene Garcia/AP Photo)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

5/2/2024

Updated: 5/2/2024

A California bill to ban local governments from setting their own voter ID requirements is now headed to the Senate Floor after passing in two senate committees.
Introduced by Sen. Dave Min, Senate Bill 1174 proposes to ban local governments such as Huntington Beach—where voters recently approved its city council could impose such an identification requirement—from enacting such and makes clear the state has “exclusive jurisdiction” when it comes to the voter verification process statewide, according to a May 1 press release from the senator.
The Democrat from Irvine said despite “zero evidence” of voter fraud, Huntington Beach put such an issue before voters and his bill would “put to rest” any notion that cities can “meddle” with state voter protections, such as requiring voters show identification when voting in person.
The Huntington Beach ballot measure passed with a majority vote and re-writes the city’s charter to allow voter ID requirements in city elections starting in 2026. But if SB 1174 passes, the city won’t be able to implement the change, according to the press release.
Huntington Beach’s conservative majority city council voted to put the issue on its local March ballot, despite repeated warnings from state law enforcement and election leaders.
After the measure passed, state Attorney General Rob Bonta and Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, California’s chief elections official, announced a lawsuit against the city during a news conference last month.
In response, city officials contend Mr. Min’s bill conflicts with the state’s lawsuit, because if such is already illegal then why write pass legislation to make it so.
City Attorney Michael Gates said the city’s voter-approved measure is in line with California law and is wanted by a majority of residents.
“The people of Huntington Beach have made their voices clear on this issue,” he said in a statement on the issue last month.
He said the California Constitution provides charter cities like Huntington Beach with the authority to implement such measures for local elections.
Mr. Min, in response, says his bill does not illustrate that Huntington Beach’s measure is legal, but only that it is “not yet decided, and therefore ambiguous.”
“The last thing we need right now, when Donald Trump is falsely attacking the legitimacy of the 2020 election results, is 100 different cities in California imposing 100 different sets of election requirements to try to get featured on Fox News,” he said in an April 15 press release.
California's Secretary of State Shirley Weber and Attorney General Rob Bonta in Los Angeles on April 15, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

California's Secretary of State Shirley Weber and Attorney General Rob Bonta in Los Angeles on April 15, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

According to Mr. Min, Orange County’s district attorney, earlier this year, found no evidence of election fraud in Huntington Beach or elsewhere and that city officials haven’t provided any.
“If there are problems with voting in Huntington Beach, then they should present evidence of these problems to the state Legislature, and we can adopt the appropriate changes,” he said.
But according to Huntington Beach Mayor Gracey Van Der Mark residents have said they would feel more secure with having IDs checked at in person voting polls.
“We put it out there on the ballot, they said we want this and the state is doing everything within their power to stop us from honoring what the voters have been asking us for,” she told The Epoch Times in a recent interview.
She said when it comes to in person voting, with no cameras inside polling locations, anyone could place a vote for another and there would be no way to catch wrongdoers.
“When I went to vote, I walked in, they asked me for my name, they asked me for my address, and that was it. My neighbor could have gone in and said ‘I’m Gracey Van Der Mark, this is my address,’ and she would have been given my ballot,” she said.
California is one of 15 states that doesn’t ask for photo ID at the ballot box, which state leaders say isn’t needed as voter identity is confirmed during registration. Ballot tracking, mandatory recounts, and signature verification checks are also used in protecting against voter fraud, according to lawmakers.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

Author

Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

Author's Selected Articles
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.