Assembly Committee Approves Sen. Dodd’s Faithless Electors Bill
SACRAMENTO – Legislation advanced today from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would ensure California’s presidential electors cast ballots for candidates who won the popular vote and do not instead switch candidates or abstain from voting.
“This is a commonsense measure that ensures electors uphold their responsibilities. Those who go rogue threaten the underpinnings of our democracy and cannot be tolerated,” Sen. Dodd said. “We must protect the legitimacy of our free election process and prevent extreme partisanship from denying the will of the voters.”
Sen. Dodd introduced Senate Bill 103 amid increased national attention on the manipulation of the Electoral College system following the 2020 presidential election. Although President Joe Biden was the clear winner over President Donald Trump, some groups in other states suggested electors might ignore the outcome and ratify Trump instead.
While 33 states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring electors to uphold their voting pledges, many do not have any enforcement mechanism and a majority have no way to make sure electors faithfully comply.
Sen. Dodd’s legislation governing California’s 55 electors would void their vote if they cast ballots for a candidate who did not win the majority of support in the state. The faithless elector would be immediately replaced by a new elector who would cast a ballot for the winning candidate.
SB 103, sponsored by the bipartisan California Commission on Uniform State Laws, was approved in the Assembly Elections committee with unanimous, bipartisan support. It heads next to Appropriations.
Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.