Newsom Enshrines Mail-In Ballots For All Californians...Except Unions

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

On Monday Governor Gavin Newsom permanently enshrined the mail-in ballot process in California by signing AB37.

As explained by RedState reporter Jennifer Oliver O’Connell, mail-in ballots are pretty much a free-for-all in this state at this point.


Motor Voter ensures that any time a Californian (not just citizens) interacts with the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew their driver’s license, get a state ID card, or update their registration and plates, they will also be registered to vote. This is done automatically, unless you affirmatively decline. And as are all of California’s systems, the interface (online) and paperwork is beyond convoluted, making it fairly easy to bypass the option to decline. Trust me, I tried to do it online, and had to re-read the language twice, and do it over again in order to NOT be registered. It was created to be a clusterf*ck for a reason, and the reason becomes evident at each election cycle.

Legalized Ballot Harvesting allows anyone to collect the ballots of other people and return them to the Registrar of Voters in their county. The prior language in the law used to allow only a designated family or household member with a verified signature to return someone else’s ballot. The new language makes no such restrictions, allowing a stranger off the street to collect your ballot and turn it in.

It is all codified into law, it is all in plain sight, and it is all corrupt. Any fight for election integrity in this state will require these laws be rescinded.

Newsom seems to believe that mail-in ballots are a huge and necessary point of equity in California.


So it’s very interesting that in that same signing slate, Newsom actually vetoed a vote-by-mail bill for union agricultural workers.

According to The Californian, AB616 would have allowed for union workers to vote in union elections by mail instead of at a polling place.

“[AB 616] would make it easier for farm workers to vote in union elections by mail or from their homes, building off of the ways the state of California has made it easier for Californians to vote in elections like last week’s recall election,” Jocelyn Sherman wrote in a UFW press release.

There were other provisions in the bill that were considered problematic but also have been foisted upon the general public in California. For instance, AB616 would have set up a “card check” system in which union representatives can simply have a farmworker sign a union ballot (card), and then the representative could fill out the card separately.

It’s a type of ballot harvesting, another thing that is actually legal in state elections. Yet the Governor chose to veto the bill.

He did the right thing. The bill would have ended up allowing agricultural unions to force independent farmers into their unions and would have essentially eliminated free and secret voting.

It’s just strange that Newsom saw fit to prevent farmers from falling prey to the power grab of mail-in balloting and ballot harvesting, but not Californians at large.


Perhaps Newsom and his political allies didn’t find it advantageous to give unions nearly unlimited power in the state, given how much control they’ve had over his administration so far.

Perhaps Newsom was punishing the union stooges who kept undermining his bid to beat the recall by keeping schools closed and demanding mask mandates when he knew they were tanking his polls.

Perhaps Newsom just didn’t have enough kickbacks to sign the bill.

For whatever reason, the truth is once again laid bare. Newsom and California Democrats have one set of rules for themselves and another for the rest of us. It just happens to be a happy coincidence that this biased veto actually did some good for once.


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