Gov. Jerry Brown today signed legislation allowing residents to register to vote up until and on Election Day, though the provision will not be implemented at least until 2014.
"Voting - the sacred right of every citizen - should be simple and convenient," the Democratic governor said in a prepared statement. "While other states try to restrict voters with new laws that burden the process, California allows voters to register online - and even on Election Day."
Assembly Bill 1436, by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, was contested along partisan lines, with Democrats saying it would encourage more voter participation and Republicans saying it would encourage fraud.
Ten other states, including Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, allow some form of same-day registration and voting, according to a legislative analysis.
California currently cuts off voter registration 15 days before an election. The bill requires the secretary of state to complete work on a statewide voter database before same-day registration goes into effect.