California Advances Remote-Voting Measure for State Lawmakers

California could be among the first state legislatures to allow members to vote remotely or by proxy during a state of emergency, under a proposal the Assembly approved Wednesday.

The 54-8 vote advanced ACA 25, a proposed constitutional amendment to allow legislators to vote when they can’t be present in the state Capitol.

ACA 25 now heads to the state Senate, where it must pass by June 25 to qualify for the Nov. 3 general election ballot. It must be approved by both chambers with a two-thirds majority; the Assembly vote met that threshold.

The Legislature stopped work for nearly two months during the Covid-19 pandemic and now faces a constrained schedule for meeting deadlines to pass a budget and hundreds of bills.

Both chambers of Colorado’s Legislature passed resolutions last month to allow remote voting during the pandemic, and the Rhode Island Senate has proposed a measure to allow members to vote by email, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Some Republicans in the California Assembly opposed the measure, saying it could make the legislative process less transparent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tiffany Stecker in Sacramento, Calif. at tstecker@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina May at tmay@bloomberglaw.com; Meghashyam Mali at mmali@bloombergindustry.com

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