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Voice for Democracy

Newsletter of Californians for Electoral Reform

Winter 2010

Brief Legislative Update

On February 19, Senator Loni Hancock (D-9) and Assembly Member Mike Eng (D-49) introduced SB 1346 and AB 2732, respectively, identical bills that would save counties millions of dollars by allowing them to use IRV for special elections to fill vacancies. They would apply to vacancy elections for Congress and the state legislature.

The New American Foundation is the sponsor. CfER quickly endorsed the legislation and plans to work closely with New America staff on getting one of these bills passed and signed by the governor.

Last year AB 1121, which would have allowed up to twelve cities or counties to use ranked voting to elect local officials during a ten-year period as part of a pilot program, passed the California Assembly, but died in the Senate in a very close vote. We havenít decided if we will ask that it be reintroduced in the 2011-2012 session.

AB 308, which allows overseas voters to use a ranked ballot to ensure their vote counts, has broad bipartisan support. It is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee. It will be scheduled for a vote once we clear up misunderstandings about its real costs.

A bill we endorsed, to allow 17 year-old voters to preregister to vote, was passed.

CfER has made great strides in the legislative side of our work over the past few years, and we certainly plan to continue introducing and moving legislation at the statewide level.

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