Cloudy
49.6 ° F
Full Weather
Sponsored By:

Governor Enacts Executive Order For Elections

Sponsored by:

Sacramento, CA – In an effort to protecting public health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order dealing with elections.

The order takes a two-prong approach. First, it expands vote-by-mail procedures for three upcoming special elections. Second, it extends the deadlines for ballot counting, tabulation, and other responsibilities related to the official canvass of California’s Presidential Primary Election, which could risk undermining social distancing measures. Additionally, it suspends the timeframes for public hearings required while in the process of changing from an at-large to district elections.

The governor’s entire election order can be viewed below.

EXECUTIVE ORDER N-34-20:

WHEREAS on March 4, 2020, I proclaimed a State of Emergency to exist in
California as a result of the threat of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS hundreds of local governments across the state have also
declared states of emergency, imposed or recommended social distancing,
and taken other significant steps in response to COVID-19; and

WHEREAS various political subdivisions within California are in the process
of changing from an at-large method of election to district elections, existing
law requires public hearings to be conducted within prescribed timeframes as
part of this change, and conducting such hearings within these timeframes
would be incongruent with public health officials’ guidance regarding social
distancing; and

WHEREAS California held a Presidential Primary Election on March 3, 2020,
for which ballot counting, tabulation, and other responsibilities related to the
official canvass, including certification of the canvass, audits and/or manual
tallies of election results, and reporting of the official canvass results, remain
outstanding or ongoing; and

WHEREAS COVID-19 and the response thereto may impair the ability of
relevant state and local officials, including county elections officials and the
Secretary of State, and the volunteers supporting them, to meet statutory
deadlines associated with these responsibilities; and

WHEREAS on November 15, 2019, I proclaimed a Special General Election
to be held on May 12, 2020, to fill a vacancy in the State Senate seat
representing the 28th Senate District of the State, in Riverside County; and

WHEREAS on November 15, 2019, I proclaimed a Special General Election
to be held on May 12, 2020, to fill a vacancy in the U.S. House of Representatives
seat representing the 25th Congressional District of the State, which covers
portions of the counties of Ventura and Los Angeles; and

WHEREAS on April 7, 2020, a Special Recall Election will be held in the City
of Westminster, in the County of Orange; and
WHEREAS state law would ordinarily require that these elections be
conducted using in-person voting at polling locations throughout the jurisdiction;
and

WHEREAS the generalized use of in-person voting presents risks to public
health and safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and could risk
undermining social distancing measures imposed by the State Public Health
Officer, as well as other aspects of the response to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS our elections must be accessible, secure, and safe; and
WHEREAS California’s existing vote-by-mail procedures can be used to
allow these three elections to go forward in a manner that is accessible, secure,
and safe.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California,
in accordance with the authority vested in me by the State Constitution and
statutes of the State of California, and in particular, Government Code sections
8567 and 8571, do hereby issue the following Order to become effective
immediately:

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

1) The timeframes for conducting the hearings required when a political
subdivision changes from an at-large method of election to a districtbased election, as set forth in Elections Code section 10010, are
suspended for any subdivision, until such time as neither state nor local
public health officials recommend or impose social distancing
measures in the relevant subdivision. Following that time, the relevant
subdivision shall hold the required hearings in a manner that ensures
the public is provided advance notice and is afforded an opportunity
to participate in the postponed hearings; subdivisions are urged to
ensure that this process includes effective outreach to individuals with
disabilities, individuals who primarily speak languages other than
English, and other individuals who may have particularized needs.

2) Notwithstanding Elections Code sections 3019, 15100–15112, 15300–
15376, 15400–15402, 15450–15490, and 15500–15505; California Code of
Regulations, Title 2, sections 20027, 20108.75, 20108.8, and 20110–20126;
and any other applicable provision of state law, all deadlines
associated with completing, auditing, and reporting on the official
canvass of the March 3, 2020, Presidential Primary Election are
extended by 21 days. Counties are urged to complete activities
related to the official canvass according to the deadlines ordinarily
imposed by state law, to the extent possible. The Secretary of State is
requested to issue guidance to county elections officials concerning
compliance with this paragraph.

3) Notwithstanding Elections Code sections 1500 and 4000–4007
(including, but not limited to, the conditions otherwise imposed on allmail ballot elections in Election Code section 4000 and 4001.5), and
any other applicable provision of state law, the April 7, 2020, Special
Recall Election to be held in the City of Westminster; the May 12, 2020,
Special General Election to be held within the 25th Congressional
District of the State; and the May 12, 2020, Special General Election to
be held within the 28th Senate District of the State shall each be held
as an all-mail ballot election and conducted according to those
provisions of the Elections Code that govern all-mail ballot elections,
including but not limited to Elections Code sections 3000–3026 and
4100. The respective county elections officials responsible for
conducting each respective election shall transmit vote-by-mail ballots
to all voters eligible to vote in each respective election.
Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Order, elections officials are
also authorized, and encouraged, to make in-person voting
opportunities available on or before Election Day for each of these
elections in a manner consistent with public health and safety, to
maximize voter accessibility. Elections officials shall provide maximum
possible notice to voters about how to participate in each of these
elections, paying particular attention to the needs of voters at high risk
from COVID-19, individuals with disabilities, and other voters with
particularized needs.

4) Notwithstanding Elections Code sections 3019, 15100–15112, 15300–
15376, 15400–15402, 15450–15490, and 15500–15505; California Code of
Regulations, Title 2, sections 20027, 20108.75, 20108.8, and 20110–20126;
and any other applicable provision of state law including, but not
limited to, any applicable state regulation, all deadlines associated
with completing, auditing, and reporting on the official canvass of the
May 12, 2020, Special General Elections to be held within the 25th
Congressional District of the State and the 28th Senate District of the
State are extended by 21 days. Counties are urged to complete
activities related to the official canvass according to the deadlines
ordinarily imposed by state law, to the extent possible. The Secretary
of State is requested to issue guidance to county elections officials
concerning compliance with this paragraph.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that as soon as hereafter possible, this Order be
filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and
notice be given of this Order.
This Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits,
substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of
California, its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other
person.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have
hereunto set my hand and caused
the Great Seal of the State of
California to be affixed this 20th day
of March 2020.
_____________________________
GAVIN NEWSOM
Governor of California
ATTEST:
_____________________________
ALEX PADILLA
Secretary of State

    Use the myMotherLode.com Keyword Search to go straight to a specific page

    Popular Pages

    • Local News
    • Fire Info
    • Weather
    • Dining Guide
    • Classifieds
    • Events
    • Movies
    • Tourism
    • Polls
    • Traffic
    • Media
    • Real Estate
    Feedback