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California Law Makes Voting in Two States a Misdemeanor

Hand putting voting paper in ballot box. Vector flat illustration

A new California law, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 10, makes it a misdemeanor for California residents to vote in another state if they have already voted in a California election on the same date. Assembly Bill 1539, authored by Assemblyman Marc Berman, aims to prevent double voting across states.

The law is designed to address the issue of individuals voting in both California and another state during the same election, either in person or via mail-in ballots.

Voting twice in different states during the same election is seen as a violation of the one-person, one-vote principle.

According to a Senate analysis of the bill, 13 states, including Arizona, Oregon, and Colorado, already have laws that prohibit voting in multiple states.

The bill was prompted by a case where a couple voted in both California and Oregon for multiple elections, leading to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s discovery of their actions.

Critics argue that the misdemeanor penalty is too lenient and that it should be a felony to deter double voting.

The Election Integrity Project California, a nonpartisan volunteer group advocating for election integrity, opposes the new law’s penalty, stating that it should be more severe to deter violations of the one-person, one-vote principle.

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