Secretary of State, Attorney General file lawsuit challenging Huntington Beach voter ID law

Today, California’s Chief Elections Officer Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D., and Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit in Orange County to challenge Huntington Beach’s recently passed voter identification law.

Huntington Beach’s Charter Amendment requiring voter identification at the polls violates California law. Existing law prohibits local governments from imposing voter ID requirements and the state of California has exclusive jurisdiction over voter eligibility and casting ballots.

On Sept. 28, 2023, Weber and Bonta sent a letter to the city of Huntington Beach warning that its proposal to require voter identification at polling locations in municipal elections directly conflicts with state law.

California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D.

Weber wrote, “This voter ID measure conflicts with state law. Not only is it a solution in search of a problem, laws like these are harmful to California voters, especially low-income, the elderly, people of color, those with disabilities, and young voters.”

Under state law, each person who registers to vote is required to provide identifying information under penalty of perjury, and county and state election officials validate that information.

“Voter ID requirements have historically been used to turn eligible voters away from exercising their right to vote,” Weber added.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

“The right to freely cast your vote is the foundation of our democracy and Huntington Beach’s voter ID policy flies in the face of this principle,” said Bonta. “State election law already contains robust voter ID requirements with strong protections to prevent voter fraud while ensuring that every eligible voter can cast their ballot without hardship. Imposing unnecessary obstacles to voter participation disproportionately burdens low-income voters, voters of color, young or elderly voters, and people with disabilities. We’re asking the court to block Huntington Beach’s unlawful step toward suppressing or disenfranchising voters. The California Department of Justice stands ready to defend the voting rights that make our democracy strong.”