YEE’S RESOLUTION CALLS ON CONGRESS TO APPROVE BOXER’S LONG VOTING LINES BILL

Senator introduces SJR 6 calling on passage of the Lines Interfere with National Elections Act of 2013

SACRAMENTO – To ensure that citizens do not have to wait in long lines in order to vote, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) today introduced Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 6, which calls on Congress to pass the Lines Interfere with National Elections Act of 2013, also known as the LINE Act introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California).

“This past election some states essentially instituted a poll tax on many of their voters, who were often people of color, students, seniors, and the working poor,” said Yee. “For a hotel worker in Florida – who earns $10 per hour – he or she essentially had to spend $50 to $60 just to vote. No one should have to take off 5 or 6 hours of work just to participate in our democracy.”

Along with Florida, many states such as Ohio and Virginia, instituted new voting rules which resulted in lines up to seven hours to cast a ballot. It is estimated that more than 200,000 voters in Florida decided not to vote in November due to their frustration with long lines.

The LINE Act would require the United States Attorney General, in consultation with the Election Assistance Commission, to issue standards by January 1, 2014, regarding the minimum number of voting systems, poll workers, and other election resources needed on Election Day and during early voting periods to prevent a waiting time of more than one hour at any polling place.

“It is a fundamental principle of our representative democracy that citizens shall not be required to overcome unreasonable obstacles in order to exercise their right to vote,” said Yee. “The LINE Act will establish a basic standard to protect this important right.”

While other states are attempting to suppress the vote, California is finding new ways to increase participation in elections. Last year, California implemented online voter registration as a result of law authored by Yee in 2011. Nearly 800,000 Californians registered to vote on the new system prior to Election Day.

This session, Yee is authoring legislation to require every state website to link to the online registration system. He is also authoring a bill to require at least one polling place on every University of California and California State University campus.

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Contact: Adam J. Keigwin,
(916) 651-4008