The California New Motor Voter Act to Become Law: Latino Caucus Priority Bill Receives Governor's Approval

October 10, 2015

(SACRAMENTO) – Today, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1461, the California New Motor Act, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas), and Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento).  This historic legislation is also sponsored by Secretary of State Alex Padilla. The California New Motor Voter Act will modernize California’s motor voter registration system by registering every eligible citizen who goes to a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to get a driver’s license or renew one, potentially adding millions of new registered voters to California’s voter rolls.  Following the bill’s signing, Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, Assemblymember Luis Alejo, and Vice-Chair, Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), issued the following statement:

“Today, Governor Brown approved legislation that has the potential to drastically boost civic engagement and improve voter registration efforts, likely adding millions of eligible new registered voters to California’s voter rolls.  As a state that has a strong record of leading the nation in innovation and policy, California should lead the effort to increase voter registration. 

Earlier this year, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Oregon's New Motor Voter bill and ‘challenge[d] other states to examine their policies and find ways to ensure there are as few barriers as possible to civic engagement.’  We commend Assemblywoman Gonzalez for co-authoring this legislation and Secretary of State Padilla for supporting this common sense effort to modernize the way California registers new voters and giving them their voice when it comes to elections. The California New Motor Voter Act embraces the right to vote by utilizing innovation and technology to ensure every eligible voter has an equal opportunity to be automatically registered to vote.

We want to thank Governor Brown for his thoughtful consideration of this bill which aims to target California’s more than 6.6 million eligible, but unregistered citizens.  These individuals are predominantly young minorities who have much to gain by making one small change, voting.  By leveraging 21st century technologies, we have a chance to remedy the inequitable distribution of election resources. With the approval of the New Motor Voter Act, it is our hope that California will begin to move toward an electorate that is more inclusive of all eligible voters, especially those within communities of color.”


Contact: Michelle Reyes / (916) 319-2030 /