The proposal, introduced in the state Assembly on Tuesday, would be unprecedented and probably challenged in court should it ultimately become law. It would place the burden for determining the civil penalty and the ultimate punishment on the secretary of state, California’s chief elections officer.
“Democracy is not a spectator sport — it requires the active participation of all its citizens,” the bill’s author, Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, said in a written statement. “California is a national leader on expanding voting rights to its citizens. Those rights come with a responsibility by registered voters to cast their ballot and make sure that their voice is heard by their government.”