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A California voter ID law? + CDAA legislative director dies + Bonta opposes Texas abortion law

·4 min read

Good morning and welcome to the A.M. Alert!


Via Lara Korte...

Carl DeMaio, a San Diego Republican and chair of Reform California, submitted a proposal for an initiative on Tuesday that would amend the California Constitution to restrict voting only to those with a valid and current government ID.

If it succeeds, it would likely go before voters in 2022.

The initiative, titled “The California Election Integrity Initiative,” requires each voter to present a valid and current ID for in-person voting, and requires those who vote by mail to provide an ID and election officials must verify the signature on the ID matches the one on their voter registration form.

It also requires that each county maintain an accurate list of individuals registered to vote, and implement a process to verify that each voter is qualified to cast a ballot.

Verification processes include, but are not limited to, requiring voters to provide social security numbers.

“Each county shall have the duty to utilize any government database to maintain an accurate voter registration list and shall remove any individual who is no longer eligible to vote or no longer resides at the address given on their voter registration on file,” the initiative reads.

Counties would also be required to evaluate wait times at polls in each election and report the results publicly along with actions it will take to address any unreasonably long wait times.

Finally, the initiative would require all state and local government officials to assist with and facilitate compliance with the amendments. A citizen would be allowed to seek judicial review of the state or any county’s performance in ensuring compliance with the voter ID laws.

The measure comes shortly after the recall election, where some Republicans were warning voters of fraud and rigged elections without any evidence.

DeMaio, in the initiative proposal, said the voter ID rules would inspire confidence in California’s election system.

“Too many Californians have little confidence in the integrity of our elections because our voter registration rolls are not adequately maintained, officials have distributed a significant number of ballots in error, and current policies do not provide for proper verification of an individual’s identity and eligibility to vote in an election,” he wrote.

DeMaio did not provide any evidence supporting his claims.

Whether the initiative succeeds is up to the voters, but it’s clear Republicans aren’t ready to let go of messaging around voter integrity and elections that have dominated recent races.


Larry Morse II, legislative director for the California District Attorneys Association and former Merced County district attorney, died suddenly of a heart attack Tuesday. He was 64.

Greg Totten, chief executitve for CDAA, told the Merced Sun-Star that Morse had “a brilliant legal mind” as a prosecutor, but also had “a heart for people he was prosecuting. He wanted to do the right thing.”

“Larry was kind of the brother I never had. A lion in our profession,” Totten said. “It leaves a hole we can’t fill.”

He distinguished himself as district attorney by prosecuting some of the most difficult cases while in the top job. He secured the death penalty conviction of Cuitlahuac Tahua “Tao” Rivera for the April 2004 murder of Merced Police Officer Stephan Gray. It was the city’s first fatal shooting of an on-duty police officer.

Morse leaves behind a wife, Cindy Morse, two sons and a granddaughter.


California Attorney General Rob Bonta was one of 24 state attorneys general to sign on to an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, which is hearing arguments about Texas’ recent law banning abortions after six weeks.

“Reproductive freedom is about choice – the choice of an individual, in consultation with a healthcare professional, to decide what is best for their body and future,” Bonta said in a statement. “State laws that prohibit a person from deciding whether to terminate a pregnancy before viability are unmistakably unconstitutional, and cannot be allowed to stand.”

Bonta’s office notes that the Texas law goes above even other states with restrictive abortion laws by putting enforcement of the law in the hands of private citizens, who can sue anyone they believe has aided or abetted an unlawful abortion and win $10,000.

Bonta joins the attorneys general for Massachusetts, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia in opposing the law.


Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, had some cheeky suggestions for Republicans’ 2022 campaign logos. You can see them here.

Best of the Bee:

  • Recall candidate Larry Elder – with an assist from former President Donald Trump – depressed GOP turnout in California’s recall race by raising the prospect of voter fraud before the election, a Republican consultant said Wednesday, via Lara Korte.

  • Republican talk radio host Larry Elder is leading on the California recall election replacement ballot in almost every county, except one that’s breaking for a registered Democrat, Kevin Paffrath, via Andrew Sheeler.

  • It was a rough morning in the State of Jefferson, via Ryan Sabalow.

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