Home>Articles>Bill To Make Vote-By-Mail Permanent in California Passes Senate
Marc Berman authored the "Deepfake" bill.
Assemblyman Marc Berman. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Bill To Make Vote-By-Mail Permanent in California Passes Senate

‘If I’m getting two ballots, I know others are getting multiple ballots as well, and that feeds into this narrative of distrust’

By Evan Symon, September 3, 2021 2:30 am

A bill that would require all future statewide California elections to have by-mail ballots go out to all registered voters was passed in the Senate on Thursday.

Assembly Bill 37, authored by Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park), would make AB 860, a bill passed in June 2020 that required all elections until 2022 have mail-in ballots be sent out a month prior to elections, permanent.

Under AB 37, all registered voters would need to receive a ballot in by mail at least 29 days before the election. County elections officials would be required to permit any voter to cast a ballot using a certified remote accessible vote by mail system for any election. All ballots would be accepted if sent in by election day and received by elections officials up to a week after election day. The bill would also require a vote by mail tracking system to be accessible to voters with disabilities.

In addition, all counties will have to provide at least two ballot drop off locations, or at least one drop-off location for every 30,000 registered voters, whichever provides more locations. If a jurisdiction has under 30,000 voters, at least one drop-off location will need to be provided.

Before 2020, most Californian counties required voters to specifically request a by-mail ballot. However, due to COVID-19 concerns and a growing number of COVID-19 cases, California passed AB 860. The overwhelming popularity of by-mail voting, which some counties in the 2020 general election reported to being over 90% of all voting, as well as over 20% of all registered voters voting in the recall election as of September 1st, influenced many lawmakers to create a permanent by-mail system. Encouraged by the higher than normal voter turnout due to the by-mail ballots, Assemblyman Berman began working on AB 37 late last year.

“Our democracy is strongest when everyone participates,” noted Assemblyman Berman in a statement shortly after writing the bill. “[In 2020] we saw historic levels of voter participation following the passage of AB 860, which required every county to send vote-by-mail ballots to all active registered voters. More than 68% of eligible Californians voted in the general election, which was the highest turnout since at least 1960. Now that we know these changes were successful, I will introduce a bill in the new session to make permanent the key provisions of AB 860.”

Previous Assembly votes earlier this year, as well as Assembly and Senate committee votes, have been largely split by party, with a handful of Democratic lawmakers joining Republicans in opposition against the bill at different stages. The Senate on Thursday was no different.

AB 37 opposition, support

Senator Andreas Borgeas. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Opponents of AB 37 have charged that permanent mail-in ballots will lead to more cases of voter fraud. Senator Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno) noted several recent incidents in the recall election that could lead to voter fraud, such as a Torrance felon found with 300 unopened ballots and numerous cases of  multiple ballots being sent to voters. The later actually happened to many lawmakers in attendance on Thursday, including Borgeas himself.

“So if I’m getting two ballots, I know others are getting multiple ballots as well, and that feeds into this narrative of distrust,” noted Senator Borgeas.

However, Democrats downplayed possible fraud, noting that California has historically had little to no cases of voter fraud, the Torrance man being an isolated incident, and by-mail ballots still only allowing one vote per person due to bar code tracking.

Senator Tom Umberg (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

“There were virtually no reports of fraud in the 2020 election,” said Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) in response to Borgeas on the floor.

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) also joined in, saying “The only reason that there is distrust by anyone in our voting system is because of the unfounded, false conspiracy theories that are being spread on social media. Expanding the ability to vote, which is what we are doing today, that does not reduce trust.”

Many election experts noted that voters continue to be split on on by-mail balloting.

“People like the convenience of it, but many also like seeing their vote physically go in, like to make sure,” said Cassie Filippelli, a county election coordination volunteer, to the Globe on Thursday. “A lot of people don’t want to go in, but a lot of people want a system here closer to how it is in other parts of the country where you need to physically go in with an ID. Usually when California passes something others follow, but in the case of elections, there has been a lot of backlash against laws inspired by ones originated in the Northeast or West Coast. This one, well, it probably won’t spread too much even if passed.”

AB 37 is expected to go back to the Assembly for final passage due to being amended recently before going to the Governor for approval.

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29 thoughts on “Bill To Make Vote-By-Mail Permanent in California Passes Senate

  1. The problem with this is that verification of the ballot is dependent upon signature verification.
    I witnessed the process of signature verification in my county in 2020. The process is very, very, very SUBJECTIVE.
    Mail in ballots are totally dependent on signature verification as a means for validation and not voter ID.
    Verification of questionable signatures is left up to the subjective opinion of a one or two people in an office in front of a computer. Most signatures are verified by the scanning of a computer.
    Given the recent history of computer hackers we all know that these computers are vulnerable and 2 or 3 well meaning county employees falls far short of safe and fair voting.
    This is another ploy by the existing majority to keep their boot on our necks and relieve the citizens of just one more liberty. God help us all.

    1. Obviously this is a NO. A bipartisan NO. God forbid we should have permanent vote-by-mail, whose main advantage for cheaters is all the ripe opportunities for voter fraud. Voter rolls are unbelievably still bloated with dead people and other unqualified registrants, so there are a lot of ballots floating around, like counterfeit money. And, like counterfeit money, these cheating votes weaken your legitimate vote. Unacceptable.

      These mega-majority Dem legislative maniacs who are addicted to undeserved power have already legalized shady ballot harvesting, which is obviously ripe for fraud and was done even BEFORE they legalized it. Harvesting, Dem-public-employee-union-style, may not be much of issue this election because of lack of time for the union goons to organize and the union memberships’ lack of enthusiasm for Gov Gav. But what more do they want? (Yikes, don’t answer that.)

      Because this is not over, and must go back to the Assembly before passage, it would time well-spent to write or call your Assembly person to express your extreme displeasure with this permanent vote-by-mail-for-all nonsense and to strongly urge them to VOTE NO. Might as well drop a line and call your SENATOR too, to give them an earful for being so irresponsible as to let this pass without screaming bloody murder.
      Find your State Assembly member here:
      https://www.assembly.ca.gov/assemblymembers
      Find your State Senator here:
      https://www.senate.ca.gov/senators

    1. @Raymond: That’s not what ex-POTUS Carter said. From cartercenter.org: In response to diverse news reports about his views on absentee ballots, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said today, “I approve the use of absentee ballots and have been using them for more than five years.”

      I find it very concerning that there are so many B.S. stories about voting that are so easily debunked.

        1. P.S. Just like Jimmy Carter, I also use the absentee ballot. Try and figure out why Jimmy and I agree about the dangers of universal mail-in voting using your little brain, @Concerned Citizen.

          1. @Raymond: Just like Jimmy Carter and you, I rely on mail-in voting. The WSJ article you quote was written by a right-leaning economist who was obviously shilling for Trump. And that article you quoted is SPECIFICALLY why the Carter center posted the repudiation I quoted earlier. It took a lot of chutzpah on your part to suggest I hadn’t done research when you actually quoted the article my quote refutes!! Meantime, you seem hung up on a distinction-with-no-difference regarding “Universal” and “absentee” balloting.

            If there’s some other quotation from Jimmy Carter that I’ve missed and that has not been refuted by the Carter Center, it would be awesome if you, oh Raymond of Great Brain, would post a link to it.

  2. Permanent mail in ballots guarantees fraud and thus guarantees Democratic victories in every statewide election for the next several decades.

  3. Ahh yes, nothing like NO VOTER ID! I got a ballot for my father who is no longer with us. Also saw a ballot in my neighborhood unopened in the leaves. Yes, this is only 2 from my past week. I wonder how many others there are. Every vote counts or at least it used to! I do not agree with the idea that “once CA passes something, others follow.” I think that has changed!

    1. @Stacy: Sorry to hear of your father’s passing. My mother passed earlier this year but she didn’t get a ballot. I wonder if you realize that, with in-person voting, there’d have been very little to stop another man from impersonating your father and voting in his place. In practical terms, there’s very little difference between in-person and mail-in voting. Arguably, the longer time allowed for signature checking most mail-in ballots should actually improve security relative to having everyone vote only on Election Day.

      1. @concernedcitizen thanks for your condolences. And thanks for you input. I always appreciate good dialogue because there is always something I can learn or something I hadn’t read or thought about. I appreciate your input especially that it was not attacking but informative, unlike @Raymond! Your title fits you perfectly. PS- my dad was a WWII vet. Just expressing how proud I am.

      2. @concernedcitizen, I failed to add in my post that I am sorry for the loss of your mother. I pray you were able to be with her in her last few moments.

  4. Here we go again – more BAD legislation out of the Bay Area – Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park)

    What’s WITH these people??? Is corruption endemic in the water up in Northern California??? They are SURE prolific writers of bad legislation that contributes to CORRUPTION and VOTER FRAUD in California…

    Here’s why:
    “All ballots would be accepted if sent in by election day and received by elections officials up to a week after election day.” [Nothing quite like opening the time-window to submit harvested/fraudulent ballots to change the preliminary results of an election, right???]

    “There were virtually no reports of fraud in the 2020 election,” said Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) in response to Borgeas on the floor.” [What UNIVERSE do you live in, Umberg? Oh right, the CNN/MSNBC universe where the 2020 election was “the most secure”, right???]

    And of COURSE, our state’s beloved Wiener weighs in with THIS whopper :
    Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) also joined in, saying “The only reason that there is distrust by anyone in our voting system is because of the unfounded, false conspiracy theories that are being spread on social media. Expanding the ability to vote, which is what we are doing today, that does not reduce trust.”

    These people are LIARS, CORRUPT to the bone and should be removed from office via recall… let’s start with Newsom and then take out the rest of these brainless, lying fools….

    PLEASE VOTE IN PERSON as the mail-in system is CORRUPT and not to be trusted – we need to WATCH our ballots be accepted into the Dominion machines, and even THEN, I’m not 100% certain that they haven’t created back-door exploits to “adjudicate” any/all Republican ballots in the posting and summation of each machine’s voting tabulation, based upon the security flaws revealed AND DOCUMENTED on the California Secretary of State’s website, but were excused without pursuit by the security firm that audited the systems, instead relying on the procedures and “good faith” of the vote gatherers and tabulators…..

    1. @CD9,… Shall we assume that you have no faith in signature comparison? It seems to work for bank checks and credit cards! Back when we still had in-person voting, nobody ever asked me for an ID. I just signed next to my name on the voter roll. I never understood why were were required to sign in pencil, but that’s the way it was. My precinct hasn’t had in-person voting for at least 15 years.

      1. What if there isn’t a signature to compare? All those without DL, passports, etc? Then what concerned citizen? Still have faith??

        1. @Stacy: As far as I know, nobody can register to vote in California without signing the application form. The signature on the application is stored digitally and used to compare with the signature on the ballot envelope. From section 20960 of the California Code of Regulations, available through the California Secretary of State: In comparing the signatures, the elections official may consider the following characteristics when visually comparing a signature to determine whether the signatures are from the same signer:

          Slant of the signature.
          Signature is printed or in cursive.
          Size, proportions, or scale.
          Individual characteristics, such as how the “t’s” are crossed, “i’s” are dotted, or loops are made on the letters f, g, j, y, or z.
          Spacing between the letters within the first and/or last name and between first and last name.
          Line direction.
          Letter formations.
          Proportion or ratio of the letters in the signature.
          Initial strokes and connecting strokes of the signature.
          Similar endings such as an abrupt end, a long tail, or loop back around.
          Speed of the writing.
          Presence or absence of pen lifts.
          Misspelled names.

          So yes, I still have faith that signature comparison works. I am also in favor of adding additional security layers. Just not layers that prevent legitimately registered voters from voting.

  5. Democrat Assemblyman Marc Berman who authored the bill to make mail-in ballots permanent is smiling like he has made out like a bandit? Never mind any potential say Democrats who have perfected voter fraud to an exact science? They’re like the CCP in China?

    1. @Samantha: Sorry, I don’t get your point. Marc has consistently won elections with about 75% of the vote. Are you suggesting these are not legitimate results? I live in his district and I don’t know anyone who’s ever voted against him. He is extremely popular.

  6. This is likely going to make winning elections more difficult on the conservative side in swing districts. Both Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh and Scott Wilk won their senate districts narrowly and now the Democrats are trying to make the legislature supermajorities as lopsided as possible.

    1. @Art: Could you explain why you think mail-in ballots disadvantage conservative voters? The traditional wisdom has been that mail-in voting favors conservatives. Conservatives tend to be older. Conservatives tend to live in rural areas and would have a longer trek to the polling place because rural precincts are geographically much bigger than urban polling places. Mail-in voting should favor people whose lives are organized enough to get a ballot into a mailbox well ahead of election day. Again, more likely to characterize conservatives than progressives.

      1. @Concerned Citizen If a conservative wants a mail in ballot, they can request one. I’m not against mail in ballots. They’re good for rural areas that way it saves time, distance, and effort to find a polling place. However permanent mail in ballots sent for everyone regardless if they ask for one or not can hurt conservatives since it drives up turnout for those less interested who might be Democrats in an election. Examples include when Assemblymen Sabrina Cervantes’s lead widened with mail in ballots and state senator Ling Ling Chang’s loss widened against Newman.

        1. @Art, though I generally agree with your examples, I don’t think it’s good for anyone to be in a position of wanting to drive turnout down. Since the 1970’s, progressives have been somewhat less motivated than conservatives, and that drives the correlation between lower turnout and conservative advances. You can’t count on that situation being in any way permanent. All it takes is for the Supreme Court to make some decisions that really hurt prhttps://www.xnxx.com/video-s7r0pdb/blow_me_pov_-_blowing_contest_by_the_poolhttps://www.xnxx.com/video-s7r0pdb/blow_me_pov_-_blowing_contest_by_the_poolhttps://www.xnxx.com/video-s7r0pdb/blow_me_pov_-_blowing_contest_by_the_poolhttps://www.xnxx.com/video-s7r0pdb/blow_me_pov_-_blowing_contest_by_the_poolhttps://www.xnxx.com/video-s7r0pdb/blow_me_pov_-_blowing_contest_by_the_poolhttps://www.xnxx.com/video-s7r0pdb/blow_me_pov_-_blowing_contest_by_the_poolhttps://www.xnxx.com/video-s7r0pdb/blow_me_pov_-_blowing_contest_by_the_poologressive priorities, and you’ll see motivation swing the other way.

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