HomePoliticsCalifornia sues city of Huntington Beach over voter ID law

California sues city of Huntington Beach over voter ID law

By Daniel Trotta

(Reuters) – The state of California sued the city of Huntington Beach on Monday over its voter ID law. She says the measure violates state law and that the state’s election integrity is already protected by strict voter identification requirements.

Voters in Huntington Beach on March 5 approved a change to the city charter that could require voter identification, among other things. It passed by nearly 7 percentage points, while another amendment that would effectively ban City Hall from flying the LGBTQ pride flag passed by more than 14 points.

The results endorsed part of the right-wing agenda of four conservatives who took over the City Council in the November 2022 elections and who have aligned city policies with the Republican Party politics of former President Donald Trump and his Make America Great Again movement.

Voter ID laws have fueled political polarization in the United States, with Republicans saying stricter measures are needed to prevent fraud. Democrats counter that fraud is extremely rare and that such measures are a thinly veiled attempt to suppress the vote of the minority.

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California’s Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta had previously warned Huntington Beach that its charter amendment violated and was barred by state law, but the council majority still put the measure up for a vote. The lawsuit, filed in Orange County Superior Court, asks the court to block the measure from taking effect.

“Imposing unnecessary barriers to voter participation disproportionately burdens low-income voters, voters of color, young or older voters, and people with disabilities,” Bonta said in a statement.

Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates, an ally of the council’s conservative majority, said the will of the voters must prevail.

“The people’s decision on the March 5 election integrity ballot measures is final. To that end, the city will vigorously uphold and defend the will of the people,” Gates said in a statement.

Since taking control of the council, the Conservative majority has dealt with culture war issues that have traditionally been invisible in municipal politics.

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It has endorsed Texas border security policies, limited who can say the opening prayer before city council meetings, and stripped the council’s three liberals of their duties on boards and commissions.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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