Home>Articles>Mail-In Ballot Bill Passes Senate, Governor Signs
Marc Berman authored the "Deepfake" bill.
Assemblyman Marc Berman. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Mail-In Ballot Bill Passes Senate, Governor Signs

AB 860 to send a vote-by-mail ballot to all active registered voters in California

By Evan Symon, June 18, 2020 2:44 pm

UPDATE below:

On Thursday, the Assembly approved a bill that would authorize sending a mail-in ballot to every active registered voter in California.

AB 860 a Governor’s signature away from becoming law

Assembly Bill 860, authored by Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park), managed to draw more of a bipartisan support compared to earlier versions of the bill by adding an amendment that specifically stops inactive voters from receiving a ballot. Previous bill changes, such as extending the vote received deadline for county officials by 20 days after an election day, also won over many with concerns about votes by mail arriving on time.

Assemblyman Berman wrote AB 860 as a direct response to the coronavirus epidemic, with the bill a way for voters to safely social distance while voting and to give those who usually voted in-person who had not asked for an absentee ballot an option in November.

“No one should have to risk their health – and possibly their life – to exercise their constitutional right to vote,” said Assemblyman Berman in a statement on Thursday. “In the midst of a deadly health pandemic, giving all California voters the opportunity to vote from the safety of their own home is the responsible thing to do. I am grateful that so many of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle agree, and I look forward to Governor Newsom signing AB 860. This bill gives voters the peace of mind to know that they can safely participate in their democracy, and allows our elections officials to continue making the necessary arrangements for the general election.”

AB 860 and SB 423 amended several times to meet GOP concerns

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

In addition to previous concerns over inactive voters receiving ballots, a sister Senate bill has been moving up alongside AB 860 to address concerns about being able to vote in-person. Senate Bill 423, authored by Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) would require a minimum number of in-person polling places to set up on election day, ensuring a choice for voters.

“Both Berman and Umberg have been meeting every concern that pops up,” explained Max Reyes, a Los Angeles lawyer who has helped on election lawsuits. “Many have been questioning whether AB 860 could change voting totals by having others vote in place of others in those inactive ballots, but the recent amendment put aside enough fears for many GOP lawmakers to finally side with the law. Adding 20 days at the end for ballot counting also helped ease many fears about ballot counting. SB 423 removes any doubts people have about being forced to vote-by-mail. And California has also been strict on voter fraud cases.

AB 860 wasn’t passed because of it being a way for people to safely vote. Not entirely. It was passed because it kept needing to be changed to counter big points being raised against it. Remember, some Democrats were concerned about the bill in it’s early days too. AB 860 largely became a compromise bill at the end by giving people assurances and set in stone amendments.”

A Sutter County Superior Court restraining order against Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order on mandatory mailed ballots and a minimum number of voting booths was knocked down an appeals court stay. With the Appellate ruling and Governor Newsom’s impending signature, vote-by-mail ballots going out to all voters is now essentially a foregone conclusion.

AB 860 has until August 31st to be signed by the Governor, but a signature is expected much sooner to ensure ballots go out in time for the November election.

UPDATE 6:01 pm: Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that he has signed AB 860 by Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) – Elections: vote by mail ballots.

Evan Symon
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13 thoughts on “Mail-In Ballot Bill Passes Senate, Governor Signs

    1. The silent majority in California cannot defeat voter fraud. All than can be done is the continuing replacement of productive residents with dim bulbs.

      1. I know that. But what I am saying is, I am not worried about this attempt to defeat Trump through voter fraud. Of course CA is going to win the democratic vote. But this is only one state. Instead of facing racist and other accusations, more people are now just silent in their support for the President. Myself included. I’m a 25 year old white female.

  1. Democrats already own the state. Why are they so determined to make fraud as common as a homeless camp? They have already destroyed the validity of a California drivers so all legal citizens who wish to fly need a new ID based on a passport.
    When will the insanity stop.

    1. Maybe because the Dems suspect that with a “clean enough” election they DON’T own the state. Turnout matters and could overcome their nonsense if fraud were a minor problem as they say. If it isn’t a minor problem, then the Feds need to intervene because our secty of state is corrupt, atty general is corrupt, gov is corrupt, so we can’t count on anything that approaches fairness from them, and if our elections are tainted beyond our ability to throw these people out then we have no options. And in CA it’s not really about Trump, it’s about everything else on the ballot.

        1. Great points @ Show and Tell.
          @K your comments are well taken and appreciated. You are a unicorn and give me hope😀

          1. @ Fed Up Cali Girl – thank you!! That’s sweet. I used to not pay attention to politics at all… I read an article from Katy Grimes last year and I went down the rabbit hole after that. You know how it goes! 😜

  2. Our pompous gov has already signed this bill. He wanted to ensure ballots go out in time for the November election. Also, he wanted to make sure the Dems have sufficient time to make sure all registered Dems receive multiple ballots. TYPICAL DEMOCRAT BS!

  3. Well with 1.4 billion in stimulus checks mailed to people who were deceased, I am sure this is a great idea!!! got a winner here .

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