Home California Governor Newsom Signs Elections Legislation Making Vote-by-Mail Ballots Permanent for Every Registered Voter

Governor Newsom Signs Elections Legislation Making Vote-by-Mail Ballots Permanent for Every Registered Voter

by ECT

AB 37 makes permanent the measure to send a vote-by-mail ballot to every active registered voter

The Governor also signed legislation increasing transparency and integrity in elections

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today signed a package of legislation to increase voter access and strengthen integrity in elections, including a bill to send all registered voters a vote-by-mail ballot.

In a move to increase access to democracy and enfranchise more voters, the Governor signed AB 37 authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park), permanently requiring a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed to every active registered voter in the state. The practice of sending vote-by-mail ballots to every registered voter first began in California in 2020, and was extended through 2021, as a safety measure to counteract pandemic-related disruptions and resulted in record voter participation.

“As states across our country continue to enact undemocratic voter suppression laws, California is increasing voter access, expanding voting options and bolstering elections integrity and transparency,” said Governor Newsom. “Last year we took unprecedented steps to ensure all voters had the opportunity to cast a ballot during the pandemic and today we are making those measures permanent after record-breaking participation in the 2020 presidential election. I extend my thanks to Assembly Elections Committee Chair Assemblymember Marc Berman for his leadership on this issue.”

“The bill will permanently expand access and increase participation in our elections by making voting more convenient and meeting people where they are,” said Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber. “Vote-by-mail has significantly increased participation of eligible voters. Voters like having options for returning their ballot whether by mail, at a secure drop box, a voting center or at a traditional polling station. And the more people who participate in elections, the stronger our democracy and the more we have assurance that elections reflect the will of the people of California.”

“When voters get a ballot in the mail, they vote,” said Assemblymember Berman. “We saw this in the 2020 General Election when, in the middle of a global health pandemic, we had the highest voter turnout in California since Harry Truman was president. I want to thank Governor Newsom for signing AB 37, ensuring that every active registered voter in California will receive a ballot in the mail before every future election. As other states actively look for ways to make it harder for people to vote, California is expanding access to an already safe and secure ballot.”

Governor Newsom also signed SB 35 authored by Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) making changes to the distance within which electioneering and specified political activities near a voting site are prohibited; AB 1367 by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell) increasing penalties for the egregious personal use of campaign funds to up to two times the amount of the unlawful expenditure; and SB 686 by Senator Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa) requiring a limited liability company (LLC) that is engaged in campaign activity to provide additional information regarding the members and capital contributors to the LLC.

A full list of the bills signed by the Governor is below:

  • AB 37 by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) – Elections: vote by mail ballots.

  • AB 319 by Assemblymember Suzette Valladares (R-Santa Clarita) – Political Reform Act of 1974: contributions: foreign governments or principals.

  • AB 796 by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) – Voter registration: California New Motor Voter Program.

  • AB 1367 by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell) – Political Reform Act of 1974: committee accounts and campaign funds.

  • AB 1495 by Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley) – Vacancy elections.

  • AB 1590 by Committee on Elections – Political Reform Act of 1974.

  • SB 35 by Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) – Elections.

  • SB 503 by Senator Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park) – Voting: ballots and signature verification.

  • SB 594 by Senator Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa) – Elections: redistricting.

  • SB 686 by Senator Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa) – Campaign disclosure: limited liability companies.

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8 comments

Martin B. Ross Sep 27, 2021 - 2:50 pm

I insist on voting IN PERSON! This “law” should be challenged and I think it will be.

Reply
Robert C. Sep 28, 2021 - 9:04 am

Nothing in this prevents you from voting in person.

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Robert C. Sep 28, 2021 - 2:37 pm

Read. This law does not take away your right to vote at a polling station if you desire. So just what do you want to “challenge”?

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Simonpure Sep 27, 2021 - 2:52 pm

Of course he did.

Reply
Sue Sep 27, 2021 - 3:02 pm

This is just another Demoncrat scam to never allow another party to win. It will cause more election fraud and more distrust of an already broken system.

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sad sad state Sep 27, 2021 - 8:01 pm

Anything to win. Lmao

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LoveableCurmudgeon Sep 28, 2021 - 4:15 am

Fantastic! Voting should be easy. It is our most basic right, and there should never be roadblocks, outside of showing proof of citizenship, to voting. Voting by mail is cheaper. It’s safer. And EVERY registered voter can do it from home.

Reply
Robert C. Sep 28, 2021 - 8:55 am

Lots of allegations in these comments. Not one shred of evidence to back them up, however.

Reply

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