Governor Jerry Brown Signs Every Vote Counts Act to Give Voters the Opportunity to Correct Mismatched Signatures on Mail Ballots

SACRAMENTO, CA September 17, 2018 – Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 759, the Every Vote Counts Act, which provides voters an opportunity to correct or verify signature mismatches on their vote-by- mail ballots. SB 759 was authored by Senator Mike McGuire (D-North Coast) and sponsored by Secretary of State Alex Padilla. The bill received bipartisan support in the legislature and takes immediate effect.
“A majority of California voters already cast vote-by-mail ballots each election,” said Secretary of State Padilla. “For many voters, signatures may change over time or disabilities may make it difficult to sign the ballot properly. SB 759 ensures that voters have a chance to remedy a signature mismatch on their vote- by- mail ballot. Once again California is taking steps to improve the elections experience for voters. I thank Governor Brown for signing this measure in time for the upcoming election and affirming voter’s fundamental right to have their ballots counted.”
“The stakes could not be higher. Voters on all sides of the political aisle will be turning out in droves for the November election and this new law will ensure all votes count here in the Golden State on November 6,” Senator Mike McGuire said.
Every vote-by-mail ballot includes a return envelope that must be signed by the voter. When elections officials receive a VBM ballot, they are required to compare the signature on the ballot envelope with the signature on the voter’s registration record. SB 759 requires elections officials to notify voters of mismatched signatures at least eight days prior to the certification of an election. Ballots would then be counted by elections officials if a signature verification statement is returned no later than 5:00 p.m. two days prior to the certification of the election. If the signature on the ballot envelope is not corrected, the ballot will not be counted.
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