On March 15, at 1:30 pm, in room 3191, the California Senate Elections Committee will hear SB 205. This bill makes it illegal for anyone to pay anyone else to register voters, if the payment is made on a per-registration card basis. The bill is authored by Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), chairman of the Elections Committee.
The only feasible way for a group to become a qualified party in California is to persuade 103,004 voters to change their voter registration, so that the record lists them as members of that new party (the 103,004 figure is 1% of the number of voters who voted in November 2010). No party has used this method for getting on the ballot in the last 50 years without paying canvassers to get out on the street and persuade voters to change their registration. Experience shows that it is necessary to pay these canvassers on a per-registration basis. SB 205 provides that if the payment is made “willfully”, the person who pays must not only be fined, but sent to prison for six months.
The Senate Elections Committee will also hear SB 168 by Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) to make it illegal to pay anyone “directly or indirectly” to gather signatures on an initiative, referendum, or recall petition on a per-signature basis.