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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2020
SOS Press Office
Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order Requiring Counties to Mail Every Voter a Ballot for Special Elections in CD-25 and SD-28
SACRAMENTO, CA – California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order requiring county elections officials to mail a ballot to every registered voter in Congressional District 25 and Senate District 28 for the upcoming May 12, 2020 Special General Elections. The Executive Order also extends the canvass period for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election by 21 days to April 24, 2020.
“Our democracy will not be halted by this pandemic. We will adapt to new circumstances and continue to provide free and fair elections for our citizens,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “I thank Governor Newsom for taking executive action to enable our county elections officials to administer upcoming special and local elections in a safe and healthy manner. As we work collectively to flatten the curve, providing every voter the option to vote at home, while maintaining social distance, is a no-brainer. Vote-by-mail is a critical component of election access during this health pandemic, but it cannot stand alone. Governor Newsom's order also calls on counties to maintain in-person voting options for voters who need assistance, including participating in Same Day Registration. The Secretary of State team looks forward to working with county elections officials in these districts to identify and promote safe opportunities for in-person voting.”
March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Canvass Period
County elections offices throughout the state continue to process and count ballots from the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election. Counties must also conduct post-election audits to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the ballot tabulation. Elections offices that have faced staffing shortages during the COVID-19 Pandemic may have difficulties meeting the original deadline of April 3, 2020 to complete their vote counting and auditing. The new deadline for counties to certify their results is April 24, 2020. The Secretary of State will certify statewide results by May 1, 2020.
“Extending the canvass deadline will provide relief to county elections offices that are impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Padilla added. “This will give county elections officials the time to complete their vote counting and required auditing while adhering to public health guidelines. California’s election results will still be certified well before the Presidential Primary nominating contests conclude in other states.”
May 12, 2020 Special General Elections and April 7, 2020 Special Recall Election in Westminster
Congressional District 25 is located in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Christy Smith (Democrat) and Mike Garcia (Republican) will be on the ballot. The winner will serve out the remainder of the current term (which runs through 2020).
Senate District 28 is entirely contained in Riverside County. Melissa Melendez (Republican) and Elizabeth Romero (Democrat) will be on the ballot. The winner will serve out the remainder of the current term (which runs through 2022).
County elections officials will send a vote-by-mail ballot to every registered voter in these districts. All vote-by-mail ballots come with prepaid postage return envelopes. Additionally the executive order encourages county elections officials to provide in-person voting opportunities on and before Election Day to the extent feasible.
Per the executive order, the April 7, 2020 Special Recall Election in the City of Westminster located in Orange County will also be conducted in this manner.
November 3, 2020 General Election
The Secretary of State’s office recognizes that further changes may need be needed to safely administer the November 2020 General Election. While the impacts felt by the current health pandemic are developing on a daily basis, the Secretary of State is reviewing options for the safe and healthy administration of the November General Election. Any changes to election administration would be made in collaboration with county elections officials, the State Legislature, and the Governor. The goal of any changes would be to protect voting rights, voting access, public health, and public safety.