California Democrat Introduces Bill That Could Fine Or Jail People For Not Voting

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Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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Under a new California bill, voting would be compulsory and registered voters who don’t cast a ballot could be subject to fines or even jail time. 

AB2070 was introduced by California Democrat Marc Levine, who is a representative of the North San Francisco Bay Area, on Tuesday. 

The bill would require anyone who is at least 18 years of age and qualified to vote by the next election to cast a ballot. The Secretary of State would decide how to enforce the law, and the San Francisco Chronicle reports that voting would be similar to jury duty, where fines or incarceration would be penalties for neglecting to fulfill the obligation. 

“This bill would instead require a person who qualifies and is registered to vote to cast a ballot, marked or unmarked in whole or in part, at every election held within the territory within which the person resides and the election is held. The bill would require the Secretary of State to enforce this requirement,” the bill reads. 


Levine has spearheaded other initiatives that would make it easier for Californians to vote, including a DMV voter registration bill in 2015 which allowed Californians to register to vote when they apply for driver’s licenses.(Related: California Admits DMV Error Added Non-Citizens To Voter Rolls)

In 2018, 64% of registered California voters participated in the midterm election, the highest in several decades.