Noting that "superstorm" Sandy hit the East Coast a mere eight days before the 2012 general election, California Assemblymember Nancy Skinnner (D-Berkeley) has introduced a bill that would protect voting rights in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency.
Bill AB 214 would require the Secretary of State to establish and publish procedures and guidelines, by December 31, 2014, for voting in the event of an emergency. The bill would also require the Secretary of State to provide a report to the legislature on the readiness of the State to hold an election during or just after a natural disaster.
“One of the state’s most important duties is ensuring the right to vote,” Skinner said. “Natural disasters don’t occur on schedule, if one happens near election time we need a plan in place so that displaced residents can vote. We cannot allow for a fundamental civil right to be hindered by natural events such as storms, floods, fires or earthquakes.”