Smart Voter
State of California June 2, 1998 Primary

Promoting Electoral Innovations

By Michela Alioto

Candidate for Secretary of State

This information is provided by the candidate
Michela Alioto feels that strong voter participation is the key to a healthy democracy that represents all Californians.
Long a leader in political innovation, California now lags behind many states in electoral reform. As Secretary of State, Michela Alioto will work to reform the voting process in California by utilizing innovative approaches that expand opportunities for all eligible citizens to participate in elections.

Promote multi-day elections. Rather than have a single day on which to vote, voters should have a full week to make it to the polling place. The present system of a single voting day unnecessarily restricts access to voting; right now a mother who works and whose child has evening soccer practice is effectively eliminated from the political process. Allowing multi-day elections (such as those recently initiated in the State of Texas) will help increase voting opportunities for working families, women and students.

Implement same-day, polling place registration. Current law requires a voter to register 29 days prior to an election, which prevents many people from participating in the electoral process. Citizens should be able to register to vote when they arrive at their polling place upon presentation of valid identification.

To safeguard against fraud, the state should implement a voting process similar to that currently used when a pre-registered voter fails to appear on the precinct list (a "provisional" vote). States like Maine and Wisconsin already have safe and effective same-day registration. California should as well.

Extend permanent absentee voter status to all voters. Those with disabilities and the elderly and bed-ridden already have permanent absentee voter status. This right should be extended to all other registered voters as well so that citizens may contemplate their vote in the comfort of their own home.

Ensure that polling places are accessible. Michela Alioto has used a wheelchair since she was 13 and knows from experience that, despite state and federal laws, polling places are not always accessible. As secretary of state, she will ensure that federal and state laws are adhered to, and more importantly, that counties have the resources they need to comply.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 7, 1998 22:48
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