Saturday, October 24, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 34
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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on September 23rd, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 30 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 21, Issue 30

Political Watch: September 24, 2020

• On a Sept. 17, Santa Barbara County officials informed residents that, with just more than 40 days until the presidential general election on Nov. 3, “voters can expect increased efforts to help ensure their vote is counted.” Because of the pandemic, all registered voters in California will automatically receive a mail-in ballot at the beginning of October. If voters haven’t received a ballot in the mail by Oct. 12, county officials said they should immediately contact the county’s Registrar of Voters Office at (805) 568-2200. The county also encouraged voters to verify their voter registration and mailing address at sos.ca.gov/elections/registration-status or at sbcvote.com. Updates to a person’s voter registration can be made at registertovote.ca.gov. Voters wary of mailing in their ballots are encouraged to use the more than 30 secure ballot drop boxes located throughout the county. A list of drop box locations will be included with the ballots that voters receive as well as posted at sbcvote.com. If voters opt to mail in their ballots, no postage is required, and the ballot must be postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3. However, according to the county, the U.S. Postal Service recommends that voters mail in ballots no later than Oct. 27. Elections officials also remind voters that they must sign the ballot envelope. “The signature on every returned voted ballot envelope will be compared to the signature on the voter’s registration card before it is counted,” the release stated. “If a voter thinks that their signature has changed over time, they should contact Santa Barbara Registrar of Voters at (805) 568-2200 or re-register online at registertovote.ca.gov.”

• U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) issued a statement Sept. 18 honoring the legacy and life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Tonight our nation lost an icon, a trailblazer, and a pillar of justice,” Carbajal said in the statement. “I am devastated to hear of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, and my heart goes out to her family and to our country as we grieve this incredible loss. She leaves behind a lasting legacy as a champion for women’s rights and fierce advocate for equality. I am grateful we had such a force for good sitting on our highest court to uphold our Constitution and the values we hold dear. Rest in peace, Justice Ginsburg. Your memory and contributions to our country will live on for generations.” 

• A statement from the California District Attorneys Association, sent from Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley’s office, calls on Gov. Newsom to veto Assembly Bill 3234, authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). The statement says that the bill would “threaten public safety by allowing repeat convicted drunk drivers, elder abusers, and people convicted of weapons charges to have their cases dismissed after successfully completing diversion instead of being held accountable.” According to the statement, the bill is based on an expired 2014 Los Angeles County diversion pilot program that “was applied generally to first-time offenders and included numerous exclusions, such as DUIs, weapons charges, and crimes against elders and minors, as well as possession of child pornography and annoying or molesting a child.” The pilot program also excluded defendants with prior diversion or violence within the last 10 years. However, the DA Association statement explains that most of these exclusions are not included in AB 3234. “As a consequence, this bill would allow a court to grant diversion for misdemeanor offenses, including DUIs, elder abuse, and firearms offenses,” the association stated. “Not only would these crimes be eligible for diversion, but the cases would be dismissed, and these crimes would be deemed never to have occurred.” It’s for these reasons that the California District Attorneys Association is calling for the governor’s veto on the bill. 









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