The California Election Integrity Initiative of 2024 would impose reforms to ensure voter rolls are properly maintained, citizenship and eligibility status is verified and a valid driver’s license is used to verify identity of all voters for in-person and vote-by-mail ballots.
Reform California Chairman Carl DeMaio filed a statewide ballot initiative with the attorney general’s office that would amend the California state constitution to require Voter ID be used in all future state elections and impose several key accountability reforms on state and local election officials in an effort to restore public trust and confidence in the integrity of California’s elections.
“It is time to settle the debate over election integrity once and for all and implementing a Voter ID law is the best way to restore public trust and confidence in our elections,” DeMaio said.
To prevent state politicians from challenging the initiative, DeMaio worked closely with national election law experts in crafting his initiative and said he grounded the language in existing US Supreme Court case law governing elections.
Among the requirements in the initiative:
- Holds state and local election officials accountable to maintain accurate voter registration lists including proper verification of citizenship and eligibility.
- Reduces the problem of “orphan ballots” being improperly mailed out by requiring improved verification of current address for voters where residency is in doubt.
- Improves verification of voter identification by requiring a voter to present a driver’s license for in-person voting or requiring a voter to provide the last three digits of a driver’s license and a matching signature if voting by mail.
- Requires each county to report waiting times at polling stations and address any unreasonably long wait times.
- Demands all state and local officials cooperate in the implementation of the initiative and provides stronger judicial and citizen enforcement of the initiative’s requirements.
“Numerous polls show widespread public support for Voter ID laws – with a majority of support among every demographic including Democrats, Independents, Republicans, African-Americans, Latinos, etc,” DeMaio said.
“The only people who don’t want a Voter ID law in California are our liberal politicians and their friends in the media,” DeMaio quipped.
DeMaio points to a Berkeley IGS poll from November 2022 which found 60 percent of all California voters surveyed said that people voting or casting ballots illegally was a threat, with 39 percent of them saying it was a major threat.
DeMaio points to a recent report by the nonpartisan Transparency Foundation on California’s 2022 November election, which found that California failed nine out of 10 metrics on election integrity and in its final report said “from its failure to maintain accurate voter registration lists to its refusal to verify the identity and eligibility of voters, California by far has the worst election practices in the nation.”
Of the most damning findings, the Transparency Foundation’s investigation uncovered: a 14.17 percent likely fraud rate among rejected and uncured ballots; more than 6.6 million people on the voter registration list that, since 2010, have moved out of California to another state; and evidence of 81,421 potential duplicate or triplicate voter registrations on the state voter registration list.
“When voters see duplicate ballots, ballots being mailed to the wrong address, ballots sent to family members whot have moved or passed away years prior — that undermines confidence in the integrity of our elections,” DeMaio explained. “But the Election Integrity Initiative of 2024 will go a long way toward repairing these issues with our election system.”
The next step for the Election Integrity Initiative of 2024 is to await an official title and summary from the state attorney general. To get on the ballot, the initiative needs the signatures of nearly 1 million registered California voters by April 2024. Reform California has been raising funds and recruiting thousands of signature volunteers since January to prepare to execute a successful signature drive.
About Reform California
Formed in 2003, Reform California is dedicated to holding state and local government accountable through ballot measures and recall campaigns. For more information, visit reformcalifornia.org.