APca 05/06 2001 Voting
SACRAMENTO (AP) -- A GOP assemblyman brought in a county clerk
from Oregon and a state representative from Wisconsin on
Wednesday to bolster his opposition to Democratic proposals to
allow voters to register on election day.
"Election-day registration serves only to open the door to
corruption," said Assemblyman Richard Mountjoy, R-Arcadia.
Mountjoy also said at a Capitol news conference that he will
seek reconsideration of his bill to purge a million or more
"deadwood" voters from the rolls. The bill drew only four
Republican votes last week in the 10-member Assembly Elections
Committee, of which Mountjoy is vice chairman.
Sue Profitt, county clerk of Wasco County, Ore., said that
when Oregon changed to "open registration" in 1975, election
offices were flooded on election day by "procrastinators and a
lot of unfamiliar faces."
"Offices had to gear up with more staff at great expense to
the counties. There was no time to verify anything," she said.
In 1976, she said, California Gov. Jerry Brown conducted a
write-in campaign for president in Oregon. There were charges
that busloads of people came across the border into Oregon to
register and vote, perhaps several times, then quickly move on.
In 1984 the Bagwhan Rajneesh tried to use the open
registrations system, bussing in 4,000 "street people" in an
effort to take over the Wasco County government.
"It boggles my mind to think of the damage that could be done
by any group of people in the heavily populated areas of
California where neighbors never get acquainted with or recognize
each other," she said.
Oregon passed an initiative last November repealing
election-day registration and establishing a 20-day deadline.
John Merkt, a Republican Wisconsin state representative form
Milwaukee, said election day registration in that state has led
to massive confusion and voter fraud, has weakened the two-party
system by doing away with registration drives, and been an "open
invitation to voter fraud."
California now has a 29-day period between the registration
deadline and the election.
Several bills to allow election-day voting are pending in the
Assembly elections committee.
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