SACRAMENTO – Responding to threats to the nation’s free election process by followers of former President Donald Trump, the California Legislature today approved a bill from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would ensure the state’s presidential electors cast ballots for candidates who win the popular vote and do not instead switch candidates or abstain from voting.
“We must protect the legitimacy of our free election process and prevent extreme partisanship from denying the will of the voters,” Sen. Dodd said. “Today we take a step toward ensuring electors uphold their responsibilities and do not go rogue, threatening the underpinnings of our democracy. I thank my fellow legislators for sending this bill onto the governor.”
Sen. Dodd introduced Senate Bill 103 amid increased national attention on the manipulation of the Electoral College system following the 2020 presidential election. Although President Joe Biden was the clear winner over President Trump, some groups in other states suggested electors might ignore the outcome and ratify Trump instead.
While 33 states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring electors to uphold their voting pledges, many do not have any enforcement mechanism and a majority have no way to make sure electors faithfully comply.
Sen. Dodd’s legislation governing California’s 55 electors would void their vote if they cast ballots for a candidate who did not win the majority of support in the state. The faithless elector would be immediately replaced by a new elector who would cast a ballot for the winning candidate.
SB 103, sponsored by the bipartisan California Commission on Uniform State Laws, was approved with unanimous, bipartisan support in the Assembly after previously clearing the Senate. It heads next to Gov. Gavin Newsom for a signature.
Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd