Division 2, Chapter 4.5 provides the state’s New Motor Voter Program. Section 2260 provides that this Chapter is known as the California New Motor Voter Program. Section 2261 provides three legislative findings and declarations. First, voter registration is one of the biggest barriers to participation in our democracy. Second, in 1993, the US Congress enacted the federal National Voter Registration Act, commonly known as the “Motor Voter Law.” Third, it is the Legislature’s intent to enact the California New Motor Voter Program to provide California citizens additional opportunities to participate in democracy through exercise of their fundamental right to vote.
Section 2262 defines the following terms: “completed voter registration”; “completed voter registration application”; “Department”; and, “driver’s license application.” Section 2263 requires the Secretary of State and Department of Motor Vehicles to establish the California New Motor Voter Program for the purpose of increasing opportunities for voter registration by any person who is qualified to be a voter under Section 2 of Article II of the California Constitution.
Section 2264 requires every driver’s license application to include a voter registration application. Section 2265 requires the DMV to establish a schedule and method for the DMV to electronically provide to the Secretary of State the records specified in this section.
Section 2266 provides that the willful, unauthorized disclosure of information obtained from the DMV to any person, or the use of any false representation to obtain any of that information or the use of any of that information for a purpose other than as authorized, is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or both fine and imprisonment.
Section 2267 specifies that, if the records of a person constitute a completed voter registration application, the Secretary of State must register the person to vote, or, as applicable, preregister the person to vote, unless specified conditions are satisfied. Section 2268 specifies that a person registered or preregistered to vote under this chapter may cancel the person’s voter registration or preregistration at any time by any method available to any other registered or preregistered voter.
Section 2269 makes clear that this chapter does not affect the confidentiality of a person’s voter registration or preregistration information. Section 2271 provides that, if a person who is ineligible to vote becomes registered or preregistered to vote pursuant to this chapter in the absence of a violation by that person, that person’s registration or preregistration must be presumed to have been effected with official authorization and not the fault of that person.
Section 2272 requires the DMV to designate an employee, known as the department’s National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) coordinator, who is responsible for the department’s compliance with the requirements of this chapter and the requirements of federal law.
The Secretary of State is required to appoint an employee, known as the Secretary of State’s NVRA coordinator, who is responsible for the Secretary of State’s compliance with the requirements of this chapter and the requirements of federal law.
Section 2273 requires the NVRA coordinator to ensure that each employee of the DMV who interacts with the California New Motor Voter Program must, annually and as part of an initial new employee orientation, receive a training on the requirements of this chapter and the federal National Voter Registration Act of 1993. This training includes, but is not limited to, instructing employees regarding processing voter information submitted to the DMV, acceptance rules, transmission deadlines, and procedures for identifying and reporting errors or delays.
In addition, the Secretary of State’s NVRA coordinator must ensure that each employee of the Secretary of State responsible for the receipt and processing of voter registration information from the department must, annually and as part of an initial new employee orientation, receive a training on the requirements of this chapter and the federal National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
Section 2274 requires the DMV to monitor the timeliness of the department’s transmittals to the Secretary of State. By the 10th day of each calendar month, the DMV must provide to the Secretary of State, in a manner and method to be determined by the DMV in consultation with the Secretary of State, specified information concerning voter registration from the preceding month:
Section 2275 requires the Secretary of State to establish a taskforce that includes all of the following members:
- The Secretary of State’s NVRA coordinator.
- The department’s NVRA coordinator.
- County elections officials.
- Individuals with demonstrated language accessibility experience for languages covered under the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. Sec. 10101 et seq.).
- Representatives of the disability community and community organizations and individuals that advocate on behalf of, or provide services to, individuals with disabilities.
- Experts with demonstrated experience in the field of elections.
- Experts with demonstrated experience in the field of civic design.
The Secretary of State is required to convene the task force for meetings at least quarterly. The task force is required to consult with the Secretary of State and the DM on the development of the annual review. The task force must advise the Secretary of State and the DMV on the effective implementation of the California New Motor Voter Program.
Section 2276 requires the Secretary of State to annually review the effectiveness of the California New Motor Voter Program and draft a written report with specified information.
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