To avoid another mishap and honor the intent of voters, the Legislature should act to fix a technicality in the law that doomed a petition drive for a special election for the Ward 1 Bakersfield City Council seat. State Sen. Michael Rubio has announced plans to introduce a bill that would remedy the problem. It deserves to make headway.
It shouldn't matter if the person who signs an electoral petition is the one who actually prints his or her own address on the form. It's the individual's signature and the accuracy of the supplementary information that should matter. As Rubio has pointed out, it's perfectly allowable to let someone else complete the residence portion of a voter registration form so long as the voter checks the box indicating that help was received. Why should there be different rules in place for petitions? It's simply confusing -- and can lead to outcomes where minor technicalities trump the will of voters.