CA Challenges Huntington Beach Charter Amendment Requiring Voters Show I-D When Voting

California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, and California Atty General Rob Bonta are going after the City of Huntington Beach in court.


What did Huntington Beach do wrong?


The City recently passed a law requiring voters in the city to show their identification card when voting.


Huntington Beach elected officials passed a Charter Amendment requiring voter identification when a person votes in a municipal election.


But according to Weber and Bonta, that requirement violates California law.


That law prohibits local governments from imposing voter I-D requirements because  the State of California has exclusive jurisdiction over voter eligibility and the casting  of ballots.


On September 28, 2023,  Weber and  Bonta sent a letter to the City of Huntington Beach warning it that its proposal to require voter identification at polling locations in municipal elections directly conflicts with state law.


Weber says “This voter ID measure conflicts with state law. Not only is it a solution in search of a problem, laws like these are harmful to California voters, especially low-income, the elderly, people of color, those with disabilities, and young voters. Voter ID requirements have historically been used to turn eligible voters away from exercising their right to vote”.


Under state law, each person who registers to vote is required to provide identifying information under penalty of perjury, and county and state election officials validate that information. But you don’t have to show any I-D when you vote by mail or even if you vote in person at a polling station. You simply tell the poll workers your name.  You don’t have to prove who you are.


“The right to freely cast your vote is the foundation of our democracy and Huntington Beach’s voter ID policy flies in the face of this principle,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “State election law already contains robust voter ID requirements with strong protections to prevent voter fraud, while ensuring that every eligible voter can cast their ballot without hardship. Imposing unnecessary obstacles to voter participation disproportionately burdens low-income voters, voters of color, young or elderly voters, and people with disabilities. We’re asking the court to block Huntington Beach’s unlawful step toward suppressing or disenfranchising voters. The California Department of Justice stands ready to defend the voting rights that make our democracy strong.”


Voting hand with ballot and wooden box.

Photo by Alpha Media USA Portland OR