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Prop. 52: Same-Day Voter Registration

October 24, 2002

As a former election clerk, I must take strong exception to your "no" recommendation to Proposition 52 (editorial, Oct. 20). I am firmly in favor of same-day registration, and I know the process will be protected from voter fraud.

The same arguments were used against "provisional ballots." It is in fact a more stringent process currently to re-register at a new residence on election day than to register before the 30-day deadline. Both a valid photo ID and a proof of residence (utility bill, credit card bill, not junk mail) must be shown to the clerk before the voter gets a ballot. This same standard would be applied to new voters registering and voting on election day.

It was my job to verify "provisional ballot" ID data before the voter got a ballot, and it was my job to enter the data on the provisional ballot envelope (in effect a re-registering-to-vote form). Once the voter had cast a ballot, it was placed inside the envelope and sealed. These envelopes would not be opened (and the ballots would not be counted) unless the information on the envelope forms could be verified by the registrar.

I have confidence in the Orange County registrar's office personnel to know how to do their job.

David G. Porter



In her Oct. 18 commentary, the former Minnesota secretary of state, Joan Anderson Growe, advocates election day voter registration, citing her experience in her state. She says voter fraud has not increased. But she really means that there was no more fraud detected. Moreover, she does not differentiate between demographics in Minnesota and California. We have a much larger number of people who already have demonstrated their disdain for our laws.

I take exception to the current trend toward increasing turnout by making the process less demanding. Somebody said that an "informed electorate" is necessary for democracy to function and thrive. I believe that an uninformed electorate threatens our democracy.

Those who are not motivated to pre-register are unlikely to make the effort to acquaint themselves with the candidates or issues. Their votes are easily influenced by so-called leaders, who exploit their "leadership" as a "power base," the ability to deliver votes.

Jerry Schwartz

Manhattan Beach

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