California Gov. Gavin Newsom Signs Slate of Election Bills

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, Oct. 10, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a slate of election-related bills that implement changes such as mandating curbside voting at all in-person polling locations, improving ballot design, changing cure laws and more.

The bills include:

  • Assembly Bill 292, which requires that voters who do not wish to indicate a political party preference for presidential primary elections are more clearly informed on how they can request and vote on a partisan ballot. 
  • Assembly Bill 398, which removes the requirement that a voter needing a replacement ballot attest under penalty of perjury that they have failed to receive, lost or destroyed their ballot. Now, a voter simply needs to request a replacement ballot.
  • Assembly Bill 545, which mandates curbside voting at all in-person voting locations and expands the list of required supplies at polling locations to accommodate voters with disabilities, including handheld magnifiers and signature guides.
  • Assembly Bill 626, which authorizes a voter to vote by mail without including an identification envelope if the voter returns the ballot at the polling place designated for their precinct. 
  • Assembly Bill 1037, which allows voters to electronically verify their signatures on their mail-in ballots.
  • Assembly Bill 1219, which improves ballot design, makes ballot instructions clearer and offers election officials flexibility in designing ballots to ensure they can be provided in languages other than English.
  • Assembly Bill 1539, which makes voting, or attempting to vote, in an election in California and an election in another state on the same day a misdemeanor.
  • Senate Bill 77, which requires a county elections official to notify a voter — by telephone, text or email, as well as by mail — at least eight days before the election’s certification if a signature does not match or if a signature is missing on their mail-in ballot. Previously, voters were only required to be notified by mail.

The signings come less than a week after Newsom signed three bills aimed at curbing gerrymandering in the state but vetoed two others that would have implemented redistricting reforms. Among the vetoed bills was Senate Bill 52, which would have established an independent redistricting commission in Los Angeles, the most populous city in the state and the second-most populous city in the country. 

Read about the redistricting bills here.