Home>Articles>Bill To End California Mail-In Ballots Mandate Amended In Assembly

Assemblyman Bill Essayli. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

Bill To End California Mail-In Ballots Mandate Amended In Assembly

AB 13 would also make election day an official state holiday every even-numbered year

By Evan Symon, January 30, 2023 12:53 pm

A bill t0 end the automatic mailing of ballots to all California voters, make Election Day a state holiday, and introduce other election measures, was positioned to be heard in several Assembly committees this week following new amendment changes made the previous week.

Assembly Bill 13, authored by freshman Assemblyman Bill Essayli (R-Corona), would specifically repeal the provisions requiring county elections officials to mail a ballot to every registered voter and authorize a county to conduct an all-mailed ballot election. The bill would allow a voter to request a vote by mail ballot for any election. AB 13 would also authorize a voter to apply to become a permanent vote by mail voter, in which case the voter would receive a vote by mail ballot for every election.

Ballots physically handed in would no longer be allowed to be handed in by just anyone under the bill. Instead, only the voter’s spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or a person residing in the same household as the voter would be allowed to turn them in.

Other new changes would also include changing how late postmarked ballots can be received and counted by election officials, going from 7 days after election day to 3 days after election day, as well as making even numbered year election days, listed as “the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of any even-numbered year” in AB 13, state holidays to get more people to vote in person.

Assemblyman Essayli wrote the bill to counter voter fraud and ballot harvesting, with harvesting having been made legal in California in 2016. Essayli, who was one of many GOP candidates to narrowly lose elections in California, was also one of the most prominent Republicans charging that ballot harvesting, the gathering and submission of mail-in and absentee ballots by third-party or volunteer officials to election officials rather than being given to election officials themselves, cost them their elections due to vote misappropriation and fraud.

The AB 13 fact sheet even highlights this as the main issue, noting, “Public trust in government and concerns with election fraud have been an ever-growing issue across the nation. Recent changes to the state’s laws regarding how votes are collected and counted have only exacerbated the problem. They have also prolonged the torturous process of waiting for final election results, in some cases to over a month.”

In a statement released last month, when the bill was first introduced, Essayli said that vote counting was taking weeks instead of days for several close races in California last year, and that vote counting needs to be more timely.

“These reforms will strengthen the integrity of our elections while ensuring the will of the voters is timely and accurately represented,” Assemblyman Essayli said in December.

“AB 13 really fights against all the shenanigans of how votes are counted in California, and goes back to a system that is more efficient and accurate,” explained Phillip Washburn, a California-based former County elections worker, to the Globe on Monday. “We would have loved to have this to have been the law several years back because it solidifies voting. Plus, a big block against getting to people to vote was ballot access. This way, not only do you have the mail-in option still, but a lot of people now have the day off from work. You really don’t have an excuse not to vote.”

AB 13 in the Assembly

While proponents of the bill, including fellow Republican lawmakers and many voter groups are in favor of the bill, others have come out in opposition, saying that voter fraud, due to numerous other laws, is almost non-existent in the country and that voter harvesting accounts have been largely exaggerated.

“Ballot harvesting and voter fraud have been blown out of proportion in recent elections because some races did not go the GOPs way and we have seen a rise in votes with more mail-in ballots, which often go the Democrats way,” countered Lewis Figueroa, a local elections consultant in Los Angeles, to the Globe. “In AB 13, while the part about making election day a holiday would likely go over well, the rest is not really liked, because it destroys all the critical advances California has made in recent years to get more votes cast and counted, especially the requirement that mail-in ballots be sent to all voters. That’s just reckless.”

Despite some opposition, AB 13 is poised to be heard in both the Assembly Governmental Organization and Elections Committees soon. Last week, AB 13 was amended in preparation for discussion in the Elections Committee, where Democrat opposition is expected to be present.

“Most Democrats don’t want to see the mail-in ballot send out requirement to go,” added “Dana” Capitol staffer in a Globe interview. “There are legitimate questions and concerns about ballot harvesting, as well as many voters wanting quicker election results and being able to vote on election day, which the bill helps bring about. It will be interesting to see what everyone says about this bill when committee voting draws closer.”

AB 13 is expected to be heard soon in Assembly committees. AB 13 was Bill Essayli’s first bill submitted to the Assembly following his election last year.

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12 thoughts on “Bill To End California Mail-In Ballots Mandate Amended In Assembly

  1. Follow Shasta County ditching Dominion (voting machines), use of CDL’s by illegal aliens and we’re on our way
    to clean elections… it’s a good start!

  2. Gee, what could the objection to this more-than-reasonable Assembly Bill 13 possibly be? After all, this is a bi-partisan issue, right? Right? Dems AND Repubs want clean elections, don’t they? And they certainly want the appearance of clean elections, don’t they? And the “public health emergency” is behind us and can no longer be used as an excuse, right?

    Unfortunately it’s not at all a good look for fair elections when in CA in 2022 there were 10 MILLION unaccounted vote-by-mail ballots, you know? Like so many counterfeit $100 bills floating around for the taking? A shocking outcome that would have been unheard of once upon a time, when EVERY BALLOT had to be accounted for or you couldn’t close the polling place. You know, like the bank teller who must balance the daily accounts and can’t check out without finding the discrepancy?

    Sure hope supporters will contact their legislators and let them know that the time has come to return to fair and free elections by voting for AB 13. Who could object?
    Find your Assembly Member here:

  3. I’m personally against making Election Day a Holiday, for one it will be mandatory paid eventually, knowing our beloved State’s track record. The people who fought and died to create, preserve, and defend this Constitutional Republic got no Holiday and paid a huge price, so exactly what have the rest given? So they can’t endure a minor hardship every 2 years for the good of their Nation? “Ask Not what your Country can do for you, but what YOU can do for your Country” said someone of note once.

    1. I’m with you on this, hrwolfe, but I think this is meant, as the bill is introduced and discussed, to counter the phony “access” argument that the Dem/Marxists have made and will surely make again as they kick and scream against this bill. As we go through the committee process and beyond we may see further amendments about the ‘holiday.’ It may stay and it may not. Who knows, I don’t. Guess we’ll see. But it seems to me we have to support the beginning of a return to clean elections. For what it’s worth, I also trust Asm Bill Essayli, having followed his work for a few years. He is an impressive guy and I’m glad he is in the State Assembly now.

  4. The corrupt and lawless Democrat cabal will never allow the end of automatic mailing of ballots to all California voters? It’s one of their favorite ways to steal elections?

  5. ““Ballot harvesting and voter fraud have been blown out of proportion in recent elections because some races did not go the GOPs way and we have seen a rise in votes with more mail-in ballots, which often go the Democrats way,” countered Lewis Figueroa, a local elections consultant in Los Angeles…”

    Anybody want to hazard a guess as to which party ol’ Lewis is aligned with??? Probably the D’s, but possibly with the corrupt ‘Chamber of Commerce/Country Club Wing” of the R’s….

    He ain’t aligned with truth or integrity however….

  6. Before you pass a bill to put yet another law on the books, maybe it should be established by real evidence that a problem exists, rather than the right-wing, MAGA manufactured and FOX Network distributed “perception of a problem.” Shasta County dumped Dominion voting machines. They have that right. surely. But why when zero evidence exists to supports the false narrative that their machines switched votes or are capable of being manipulated, despite the baseless nonsense spouted by a soon to be indicted former president and his ilk trying to throw as much s * * * up on the wall hoping some of it would stick.

    There’s also no evidence of illegal voter fraud or vote harvesting in California that even minimally impacted a single race for any elected position in California. So what real problem are we solving? Or is just an attempt to revert to the former system in which far fewer people voted than they have in the last two elections.

    As California is a Blue state, whether increntally or in one fell swoop. Republicans in this day and age who place party before country and constitution can be expected to do anything and everything they can to limit or reduce the number of democratic voters. AB13 which doesn’t address a real problem is just the most recent attempt to do so.

    Let’s get our politicians focusing on real problems that absurdly exist and cause harm rather than worry about their perceptions of problems which aren’t problems at all.

  7. “Ballot harvesting and voter fraud have been blown out of proportion”

    In Orange County – once seen as a Republican stronghold in the state– every House seat went to a Democrat after an unprecedented “250,000” vote-by-mail drop-offs were counted, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

    “People were carrying in stacks of 100 and 200 of them. We had had multiple people calling to ask if these people were allowed to do this,” Kelley said.

    Despite holding substantial leads on Election Day, many Republican candidates in California saw their advantage shrink, and then disappear, as late-arriving Democrat votes were counted in the weeks following the election.

  8. Change mail in ballots to “opt in” rather than “Opt out”.
    And end ballot harvesting. That’s where undelivered “last known address” ballots left lying around end up.

  9. It is time to put on end to mail-in ballots, machines, rank choice voting and ballot harvesting. We need same day voting which worked for many years in our country. We are deciding the fate of nation and humanity with our vote and voting is not a question of being easy. It was not easy to secure our Constitution and to keep our republic. As Ben Franklin said I gave you a republic if you can keep it. AB 13 in a step in the direction, Mindy Pechenuk, 2024 Republican Candidate for State Assembly 18

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