On August 30, the California legislature passed AB 145, which makes it illegal for voter registration groups to pay workers on a per-registration card basis, “directly or indirectly.” The bill now goes to Governor Jerry Brown, who vetoed a similar bill last year.
There are even more reasons for Governor Brown to veto the bill this year than last year. A U.S. District Court in Texas this month said not letting registration organizations pay based on performance is likely unconstitutional. Ironically, the case was won by the Texas Democratic Party. Yet in California, Democrats supported AB 145 and Republicans opposed it.
The bill has no penalty for breaking the law. The author was forced to omit the penalty, because of procedural problems. All bills that create crimes must go through the Public Safety Committees, and due to legislative rules, it was impossible to get the bill through those committees.