North Bay Lawmaker Wants to Make Voting a Requirement

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A North Bay lawmaker wants to pass a law that would require all registered voters to cast a ballot.

Democratic Assemblyman Marc Levine, who represents Marin and Sonoma counties, said it would be something like “jury duty.”

“[But,] unlike jury duty where you can be fined or experience jail time, my bill doesn’t say anything about that,” he said.

Some however, say it doesn’t make sense.

“Bill that requires you to vote and if you don’t vote there’s no penalty-that doesn’t make any sense,” said Logan Folger from San Rafael.

People not registered to vote would not be impacted, as there is no mention of enforcement in AB 2070. The Secretary of State’s office would determine penalties, if any.

“I guess punishment should be not money,” said Zack Maslaw from Santa Rosa. “I don’t know, have to sit in a class or do community service.”

Levine’s bill specifically calls on voters to cast a ballot, filling it out is optional.

“They don’t actually have to vote, we just asked them to cast a ballot,” Levine said. “They can cast it blank if they don’t like anybody, send the ballot back.”

Levine says his bill will do more than make voters realize how important their vote is.

The bill is in committee and Levine said it has got his Democratic colleagues buzzing.

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