Governor Signs Senator Melissa Hurtado’s Legislation to Expand Voter Access to Primaries

February 14, 2020

SACRAMENTO, CA – This week, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senator Melissa Hurtado’s (D-Sanger) legislation, SB 207. The bill, coauthored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) will simplify the process for voters updating specified personal information or party preference in the two weeks prior to and including Election Day.

"I thank Governor Newsom for signing this bipartisan measure to streamline the voting process for all Californians, regardless of their party affiliation,” stated Senator Hurtado. “Reducing long wait lines for our constituents and ensuring a commonsense process for our local clerks and election officials is critical to a transparent and successful electoral process at polling locations in my district and throughout the state."

“All voters should be able to cast a ballot for the presidential candidate they prefer,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. “We know more Californians are registering as non-partisan, independent voters. This new law will streamline the process for these voters in the March primary so that there’s less hassle around voting for the candidate they support, especially if it requires them changing their political party to do so.”

“With all indicators pointing to a high turnout for the March 3rd Presidential Primary, county elections officials now have a new tool to provide an efficient, positive experience for California voters,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “While voters have become accustomed to the ‘top-two vote-getter’ system for federal and state races, the rules for voting in a presidential primary are different. Allowing voters to easily update their political party preference will be especially important for the March 3rd Primary. Streamlining political party preference changes will help keep wait times at the polls to a minimum and help voters get their preferred ballot. This will also help county elections officials, who will not have to process an entire new voter registration when a registered voter simply wants to update their political party.”

The legislation goes into effect immediately.

About Senator Melissa Hurtado

Senator Melissa Hurtado is an advocate for expanding access to health care and clean water, growing educational opportunities and creating more quality jobs. She represents the 14th Senate District in California, which includes cities in Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties. Senator Hurtado was born in Fresno, California and was raised in the City of Sanger, where she still resides with her family.