On January 10, at 1:30 p.m., the California Senate Elections Committee will hear AB 1413. The bill abolishes write-in space on general election ballots for Congress and partisan state office. It also makes various other technical changes that will alter the top-two system passed by the voters in June 2010, when they approved Proposition 14 by a 53.7-46.3% margin.
Existing law says the ballot should contain write-in space, but that write-ins cannot be counted. It is wildly irrational for the existing law to leave write-in space on the ballot and yet say they can never be counted. There are two obvious ways to fix this: either repeal the law that says write-ins can’t be counted; or change the law to eliminate write-in space on ballots. The author of AB 1413, Assemblyman Paul Fong, has chosen the more repressive choice.