Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a package of bills designed to modernize California's election and campaign finance laws, including allowing voters to register as late as Election Day and making it easier for vote-by-mail voters to let others drop off their ballot.
Brown announced Monday that he signed the same-day voter registration bill, AB1436 by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles. He said in a news release that voting should be simple and convenient.
"While other states try to restrict voters with new laws that burden the process, California allows voters to register online -- and even on Election Day," Brown said in the written statement.
It was an apparent reference to laws in some states enacting strict voter identification requirements, efforts that opponents say could disenfranchise large segments of the electorate.
Current California law requires eligible voters to register at least two weeks before Election Day. The new law will take effect once California implements a new statewide voter database, which could take several years.
Brown also signed SB1001 by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, which will double to $50 the annual registration fee paid by lobbyists and require a $50-a-year fee for political committees that support candidates or causes. The money will go to improving CalAccess, the state's website that posts campaign contributions and lobbying activity.
The Democratic governor is still considering a bill by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada-Flintridge, that would require candidates to report more details about their income from various sources by updating the broad income parameters currently in use on state forms.
Last week, California voters began registering to vote online for the first time under a Yee bill that Brown signed into law last year.