Sacramento Report: Signature-Gatherers Cheer the New Voter Registration Rules
By Sara Libby and Scott Lewis
October 16, 2015
One of the most significant pieces of legislation lawmakers and the governor agreed to last session was the so-called New Motor Voter bill, by San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. Now, when citizens sign up for a driver’s license or an identification card through the Department of Motor Vehicles, the state will automatically register them to vote.
Signature-gatherers — quickly becoming another branch of government in California and San Diego — took notice. The measure may be a boon for the industry. I got in touch with Andrew Jacobs, a professional petition-circulator and coordinator for 15 years, who told me it could be huge but eventually might be a negative for signature-gatherers who do a lot of work in California.
Jacobs said if everyone becomes registered to vote, it will increase the validity rates on the petitions he and his counterparts gather. That is, fewer of the signatures they gather will be thrown out. Signature-gatherers will also be more productive — bagging far more per hour than they could now.