SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — Californians could register to vote any time, including on Election Day, under a bill approved by the state Senate.

Democratic Sen. Ron Calderon of Monterey Park said AB1436 would increase voter participation.

But Sen. Doug La Malfa, a Republican from Willows, said it could encourage voter fraud. He said it will create more work for election officials who have to verify newly registered voters’ eligibility in the month following an election.

The bill also increases fines for voter fraud. It would take effect only after the secretary of state begins operating the state’s pending VoteCal statewide voter registration database.

There was no opposition from law enforcement or elections officials.

The Senate approved the bill Thursday on a 23-13, party-line vote, sending it back to the Assembly for a final vote.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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