How Much Does The Right To Vote Cost In California?

It now costs at least three hundred dollars cash (plus days wasted and lost wages.) Via Notes From Class:

California requires a valid driver’s license to exercise the right to vote, and that new residents acquire new tags and registration immediately upon relocation. Documents needed: birth certificate, vehicle registration, smog test, vehicle inspection, statement of facts, divorce papers.

Smog Test: $38
Douglas County Court Records: $26
Registration/License Plate Fees and Taxes: $200
Driver’s License Fee: $40
Estimated Fuel Cost: $6

Actual Cost of California Driver’s License, Vehicle Registration, and My Voting Rights: $310

This is why people are so angry, or should be, about being required to present a valid state driver’s license at the polls. The total cost would change, of course, if the potential voter had no car: but so would the time and wages lost to long bus rides to the DMV to get a license. There has to be a way to prevent “voter fraud” without disenfranchising those who are living in poverty. Voting should be free, and voting should be easy. I get it now.

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  • Decohen

    You guys are totally failing today.  First the BS about the fake home made drone with a machine gun.  Now this.

    Check your facts!

    I live in California and Vote.  CALIFORNIA DOES NOT REQUIRE A DRIVER’S LICENSE TO VOTE.

    In fact, I just re-registered last week.  No drivers license, ID, or documentation was required (besides the form to register). 

    You guys are failing.  Check your facts before publishing such garbage.

    • Calypso_1

      Perhaps, just perhaps – this site might leave it up to readers to determine the truth.

    • Matt Staggs

      Hey Decohen, The “fake drone” story was my own – sometimes things like these happen. I removed the article when a reader cued me in that this was a viral marketing effort for a video game producer. These things happen occasionally, no matter how careful one may be. I won’t bore you with the details regarding the evolution of this story, but regardless, I take the responsibility for having this post go live and for any confusion or discomfort it may have caused for our readers.  

      Now, regarding this particular story, I believe – and this is my bet, as I didn’t pull write this post – that there is some confusion regarding the language here regarding identification: http://smartvoter.org/voter/regvote_polls.html In any case, thanks for dropping by and engaging our readers. In addition to commenting here, you are always more than welcome to email me directly at matt@disinfo.com to express any concerns you may have regarding stories or content. 

  • Robert Forpahl

    I’m also a Californian and can vouch that this story is BS. I live in California’s “bible belt” and have been condescended to by republican poll workers, but never denied my right to vote. 

  • howiebledsoe

    Look. You are saying that if you don’t drive an automobile, you are exempt from voting. This makes no sense.
    Blind folks, handicapped, alcoholics, seniors, etc. are all unallowed to vote?

  • Blair

    two questions.

    @d65e876fa49ecc4215460350f11f4d8d:disqus 1) were the two previous voters already registered before any new laws took effect? if so, this may be the reason you weren’t required to do anything.

    2) are people with a suspended license not allowed to vote? this seems a little ridiculous to me. a state issued i.d. seems valid enough but, what do i know? i live in a state that’s still free.

    • Decohen

      Hi Blair,

      THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO SHOW ID, WHEN VOTING OR REGISTERING TO VOTE.  NO REQUIREMENT TO OWN A VEHICLE, ETC.

      Here is my response.

      1)  I had been dropped from the voting rolls at my old address (I did verify this).  I have since moved.  I submitted a new voter registration through the county clerk where I live in California.  It is a simple form you fill out and mail into the county.  No requirements to prove your address.  When you go to the pulling place there is no ID requirement.  They just ask your name and verify your address verbally (to make sure you are in the right precinct).  This is current as of the last election which was the Primary here in California earlier this year.

      2)  There is no license or ID requirement to vote.  So the answer is, people with suspended licenses can vote because you do not need a license to vote.

      I actually think there should be a valid Government ID requirement.  After all, you need to show your ID to buy a bus ticket.  I don’t think requiring to show ID is a huge inconvenience.  Heck you need to show some type of government ID when you get a job.  The current cost for an ID card is $15 from DMV.  They should make it free and then require valid ID to vote.  You could even make the requirement the Draft Registration that all males are required to do at 18, or social security card.

    • Decohen

      Hi Blair,

      THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO SHOW ID, WHEN VOTING OR REGISTERING TO VOTE.  NO REQUIREMENT TO OWN A VEHICLE, ETC.

      Here is my response.

      1)  I had been dropped from the voting rolls at my old address (I did verify this).  I have since moved.  I submitted a new voter registration through the county clerk where I live in California.  It is a simple form you fill out and mail into the county.  No requirements to prove your address.  When you go to the pulling place there is no ID requirement.  They just ask your name and verify your address verbally (to make sure you are in the right precinct).  This is current as of the last election which was the Primary here in California earlier this year.

      2)  There is no license or ID requirement to vote.  So the answer is, people with suspended licenses can vote because you do not need a license to vote.

      I actually think there should be a valid Government ID requirement.  After all, you need to show your ID to buy a bus ticket.  I don’t think requiring to show ID is a huge inconvenience.  Heck you need to show some type of government ID when you get a job.  The current cost for an ID card is $15 from DMV.  They should make it free and then require valid ID to vote.  You could even make the requirement the Draft Registration that all males are required to do at 18, or social security card.

    • Decohen

      Hi Blair,

      THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO SHOW ID, WHEN VOTING OR REGISTERING TO VOTE.  NO REQUIREMENT TO OWN A VEHICLE, ETC.

      Here is my response.

      1)  I had been dropped from the voting rolls at my old address (I did verify this).  I have since moved.  I submitted a new voter registration through the county clerk where I live in California.  It is a simple form you fill out and mail into the county.  No requirements to prove your address.  When you go to the pulling place there is no ID requirement.  They just ask your name and verify your address verbally (to make sure you are in the right precinct).  This is current as of the last election which was the Primary here in California earlier this year.

      2)  There is no license or ID requirement to vote.  So the answer is, people with suspended licenses can vote because you do not need a license to vote.

      I actually think there should be a valid Government ID requirement.  After all, you need to show your ID to buy a bus ticket.  I don’t think requiring to show ID is a huge inconvenience.  Heck you need to show some type of government ID when you get a job.  The current cost for an ID card is $15 from DMV.  They should make it free and then require valid ID to vote.  You could even make the requirement the Draft Registration that all males are required to do at 18, or social security card.

  • Pzhukova

    Wow what a moronic story considering there is not one shred of truth to it.  Is the author hallucinating or does he/she have some bizarre agenda?  There is absolutely NO voter ID requirement in California – much less a voter vehicle registration requirement.  Hilarious.  

  • Be Funk Note

    Ok, so glad you guys commented that this is total bullshit.  I was about to freak out because I live in Cali but don’t have a car and my license is currently suspended.  I have voted in California before and was never asked for anything more than to verify my name and address where I was registered to vote.  

    Wow, such BS, why would anyone HAVE to have a drivers license?  An ID I still agree is wrong, but more understandable.  You can’t deny everyone who can’t drive or pass the licensing test the right to vote.  America kinda sucks right now but we’re not that stupid.

    Sigh…fucking internet.

  • Be Funk Note

    Ok, so glad you guys commented that this is total bullshit.  I was about to freak out because I live in Cali but don’t have a car and my license is currently suspended.  I have voted in California before and was never asked for anything more than to verify my name and address where I was registered to vote.  

    Wow, such BS, why would anyone HAVE to have a drivers license?  An ID I still agree is wrong, but more understandable.  You can’t deny everyone who can’t drive or pass the licensing test the right to vote.  America kinda sucks right now but we’re not that stupid.

    Sigh…fucking internet.

  • Lab Rat

    This is terribly misleading. State IDs are only $15, Mass Transit is $15 round trip to anywhere in the Bay Area for sure. Not that I agree with the way the right wants to implement these laws, its just that your presentation is horse shit.

  • Matthew Glennon

    Note.. Doesn’t have to be a driver’s license. It could be a non-driver ID card. Costs 23$.

    http://www.dmv.com/ca/california/apply-id-card 

  • Matthew Glennon

    Note.. Doesn’t have to be a driver’s license. It could be a non-driver ID card. Costs 23$.

    http://www.dmv.com/ca/california/apply-id-card 

  • Matthew Glennon

    Was my comment deleted? If it was, why?

    Anyway. To further the point of other commenters.. no photo ID law in CA.
    http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/voter-id.aspx 

    • Matt Staggs

      Our comment moderation software, Disqus, occasionally eats comments. I’ve checked the spam folder and didn’t see anything, but I’ll check again. 

    • Matt Staggs

      Our comment moderation software, Disqus, occasionally eats comments. I’ve checked the spam folder and didn’t see anything, but I’ll check again. 

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    the real cost of voting in Cali is your freedom
    once you sync with their system
    (and you MUST SYNC with their system, because that’s real freedom folks)
    you give-up your civil rights 
    and become a servant of the state

    if it was just $310 & your vote actually mattered
    that would be a deal

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    the real cost of voting in Cali is your freedom
    once you sync with their system
    (and you MUST SYNC with their system, because that’s real freedom folks)
    you give-up your civil rights 
    and become a servant of the state

    if it was just $310 & your vote actually mattered
    that would be a deal

  • bonnie

    From the website of the secretary of state:
    “If you are voting for the first time after registering by mail and did not provide your driver license number, California identification number, or the last four digits of your social security number on the registration card, you may be asked to show a form of identification when you go to the polls. Make sure you bring identification with you to the polls or include a copy of it with your vote-by-mail ballot.”

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