November 4, 2009 (Sacramento) -- Beginning next year, firefighters, medics, and others responding to state emergencies will be able to vote wherever they are serving, thanks to the Governor's signature on Assembly Bill 1440 (Swanson), which Secretary of State Debra Dowen sponsored in the Legislature.
The new law allows emergency workers who are responding to a government-declared state of emergency to cast a provisional ballot for statewide races, legislative races and ballot measures in the county where the disaster occurred.
Before this bill was signed into law, people could only cast a provisional ballot in the same county where they were registered to vote. This, of course, provided no help to a firefighter living in Los Angeles who was called to battle a blaze in a state-declared emergency area in Santa Cruz County.
“I am so proud these emergency workers, who are called away from home with little if any notice and put their lives on the line, will be able to vote on Election Day, even if they are far from home,” Bowen said.