Home>Articles>Vote by Mail Extension: SB 29 on Fast Track to Enactment

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

Vote by Mail Extension: SB 29 on Fast Track to Enactment

Requires county elections officials to mail out vote-by-mail ballots for all elections conducted prior to January 1, 2022

By Chris Micheli, January 29, 2021 10:27 am

Senate Bill 29 by Senator Tom Umberg (D-Orange County) has already passed the State Senate and is headed to a quick enactment as an urgency statute. SB 29 would extend to the requirement to mail a ballot to every registered voter for elections proclaimed or conducted prior to January 1, 2022. Existing law required county elections officials to mail a ballot to every registered voter for the November 3, 2020 statewide general election.

Section One of the bill contains the following legislative findings and declarations:

(a) To maintain a healthy democracy in California, it is important to encourage eligible voters to vote and to ensure that residents of the state have the tools needed to participate in every election.

(b) When California conducts an election in 2021, it is unknown to what degree the COVID-19 pandemic will still pose a threat to public health. The state and its counties need to begin taking action now in order to ensure that elections are held in a manner that is accessible, secure, and safe.

(c) Consistent with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 2226 of the Elections Code, and with the longstanding interpretation by state and local elections officials of Sections 4000 to 4108, inclusive, of the Elections Code governing the conduct of all-mailed ballot elections and of Section 3005 of the Elections Code governing mailed ballot precincts, nothing in this act is intended, and shall not be construed, to mean that a voter with an inactive voter registration status shall receive a vote by mail ballot for an election conducted in 2021.

Section Two of the bill would amend Elections Code Section 3000.5 to strike the November 3, 2020 limitation to apply the required mailing of a ballot to “an election proclaimed or conducted prior to January 1, 2022.” Section Three of the bill would amend Elections Code Section 3019.7 to provide the same change in law.

Section Four of the bill specifies that local agencies and school districts can apply to the Commission on State Mandates for reimbursement if the bill results in “costs mandated by the state” pursuant to the Government Code.

Section Five of the bill provides the following urgency clause which specifies the bill should take effect immediately (i.e., when it is signed by the Governor and chaptered by the Secretary of State):

To ensure that county elections officials have sufficient time to ensure that elections are held in a manner that is accessible, secure, and safe, it is necessary for this act to take effect immediately.

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15 thoughts on “Vote by Mail Extension: SB 29 on Fast Track to Enactment

  1. If you can stand in line at Costco or a marijuana shop you can stand in line at a voting precinct. When I first voted in 1974 I had to register at least thirty days before the election. I would then receive my sample ballot in the mail to fill out and take with me to the voting precinct. I would sign my name and then vote. Real easy! I would also receive in the mail an application for an absentee ballot. You would apply for the absentee ballot if you were going to be unable to make it the polls on election day and you would have give the reason such as medical, being away from the area, etc. If you were granted the absentee ballot it would have to be received by election day and if it was not it would not be counted. Back then we did not have issues with dishonest elections like we do today.

    1. I remember that John The Patriot!

      It was easy and straightforward. And they always checked for my name and address on their big voter roll. Then I was crossed out. No easy cheating or illegal voters. I guess we’re too advanced for such a simple system today.

    2. This opens the door to more election fraud and will be used to crush the recall newsom movement. We have lost free elections.

    3. This opens the door to more election fraud and will be used to crush the recall newsom movement. We have lost free elections. The fix is in. Newsom is using the virus to turn us into a Communist state.

  2. Conservatives better wake out of their Dominion Voting Machines and “suitcases under tables” fever dreams. We need to wake up to the realities of:
    1) Automatic Voter Registration
    2) Unsolicited Mail-In ballots (subject of article)

    These two together create a seismic shift in the voting landscape and are not going away. Once only seen in blue super-majorities, COVID has allowed them to spread nation wide. These create a vast pool of “unmanaged” ballots that are highly susceptible to manipulation of all types if not outright fraud.

    The GOP seems to be largely unaware that these are, in fact, the real and massive threats and, so, has not even begun to figure out how to compete in this new world. If you like the color blue you’re in luck for a long time.

  3. Here we go again…

    Trot out the Covid fear card to provide political cover for vote fraud, just like 2020…

    Like others have said, if we can stand in line at the grocery store or the hardware store OR IN LINE FOR THE COVID SHOT, we can stand in line TO VOTE!!!

    California just continues to demonstrate how irredeemable its politics are and the solution becomes clearer by the day…

  4. Let’s face it, if criminals, scammers and people living in other countries can bilk the California Employment Development Departartment out of $10 + billion dollars, then it will be child’s play to rig mail-in ballots. Now we have a new saying: “Your fraud is in the mail.”

  5. What a blatant effort to ensure fraudulent elections in the future. “Never let a crisis go to waste”! Likely gov recall election coming up. Hence the “urgency”?

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