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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2020
CONTACT: Michael.Henning@sen.ca.gov, (916) 834-8548
GOVERNOR NEWSOM SIGNS UMBERG BILL RESTORING NON-PRESIDENTIAL YEAR PRIMARIES TO JUNE
(Sacramento, CA) – Senator Thomas J. Umberg (D-Santa Ana), Chair of the California State Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee, released the following statement on the signing of Senate Bill 970 (SB 970). Late Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law, which will move non-presidential year primaries back to June.
“I commend Governor Newsom for recognizing that non-presidential primaries should be reset to their traditional month of June,” saidSenator Umberg. “The complexities of voting during emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic have only served to highlight that we need to set our elections on schedules that are known and that will maximize voter turnout and engagement.”
By moving the non-presidential primary back to June, the new law will return California to the traditional midterm primary date. Campaigns and voters alike will not experience an unnecessarily elongated election cycle because the gap between the primary and the general election will be five months rather than eight months being seen in 2020.
“The redistricting process and its relation to the 2022 primary present us with a unique set of circumstances; by moving the non-presidential primary back to June we will provide state and local governments enough time to complete their required work,” said Senator Umberg. “Put simply, this law will serve to allow redistricting teams proper time to create accurate district maps.”
“Having failed in its efforts to subvert our nation’s democracy and its constitution, the Trump Administration has continually tried to deny an accurate count of the 2020 Census. Most recently, Trump hijacked the Census by cutting short our nation’s headcount by an entire month. We need our democratic processes to have ample time to complete their work in light of the many challenges we are experiencing right now,” said Senator Umberg.
Redistricting is the process of redrawing district lines of representation via an independent, neutral Commission based on population shifts revealed in the most recent census data. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down census data collection, this has also delayed the integral data necessary for the state’s redistricting process. In addition, California will be redistricting boundaries for federal, state, and local offices starting in 2021. California will return the non-presidential primary to June, and local officials will have ample time to absorb public input and finalize district maps. The U.S. Census Bureau has also sought Congressional approval for four additional months to deliver the census data needed to reapportion Congress and to redraw congressional, state legislative and local districts in 2021.
Senator Thomas Umberg represents the 34th Senate District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Los Alamitos,
Midway City, Orange, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, and Westminster. Umberg is a retired
U.S. Army Colonel, and former federal prosecutor. He and his wife,
Brigadier General Robin Umberg, USA (ret.), live in Orange County.
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