California sues beach city over voter ID law backed by majority of residents

California officials are suing the beachside city of Huntington Beach over a voter ID amendment it passed last month with support from a majority of residents. The lawsuit, from California Attorney General Rob Bonta and California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, challenges Huntington Beach’s voter ID law, Measure A, which amends the city’s charter to allow voter ID requirements by 2026. In their lawsuit, Bonta and Weber argued that the city’s voter ID law “unlawfully conflicts and is preempted by state law.” “The right to freely cast your vote is the foundation of our democracy and Huntington Beach’s voter ID policy flies in the face of this principle,” Bonta said in a statement. He argued that state elections already contain “robust voter ID requirements with strong protections to prevent voter fraud.” He said the new requirements would disproportionately burden “low-income voters, voters of color, young or elderly voters, and people with disabilities.” The City Council placed the voter ID measure on the March ballot after taking a series of hotly contested decisions on topics ranging from flag flying to the removal of books from the public library’s children’s section over concerns about the appropriateness of materials. The moves were initiated by a politically conservative council majority, which took office in 2022, and have drawn scores of residents on all sides of issues to city meetings.AG GARLAND PLEDGES TO FIGHT VOTER ID LAWS, ELECTION INTEGRITY MEASURESThe measure — which would let the city require voter identification, increase in-person voting sites and monitor ballot drop boxes in local elections — won at the polls in March with 53%, county election data shows.City Attorney Michael Gates said the amendment approved by voters last month is “not only permissible” but backed by the state constitution. “The people of Huntington Beach have made their voices clear on this issue and the people’s decision on the March 5th ballot measures for election integrity is final,” Gates said in a statement “To that end, the City will vigorously uphold and defend the will of the people.” Bonta, a Democrat, said it was not immediately clear how the measure would be implemented. In California, voters can cast ballots in person and also by returning ballots to drop boxes or by mail.Fox News Digital has reached out to Bonta’s office and the Orange County Registrar of Voters for additional comment. Huntington Beach, dubbed “Surf City USA” and known for its scenic shoreline, has a history of sparring with state officials over the measures it can take under its city charter on topics ranging from immigration to housing.While Democrats outnumber Republicans in Orange County, the GOP is dominant in Huntington Beach with nearly 54,000 registered voters versus 41,000 Democrats, county data shows.The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
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