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Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo Announces Legislation to Uphold the Integrity of the Electoral Process and Ensure Fair and Open Elections

For immediate release:
  • Judith Gutierrez
  • (916) 319-2052

SACRAMENTO - Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo proudly announces the introduction of Assembly Bill 1795, a significant step toward upholding the sanctity of our electoral process. AB 1795 directly responds to a recent Sacramento County Superior Court decision that permitted a candidate to run concurrently for United States Congress and their State Assembly seat, challenging a previous restriction by California's Secretary of State. AB 1795 aims to close the loophole exposed by this case and ensure a fair and open electoral process.

AB 1795 would permit a candidate who has filed a declaration of candidacy for an office at a primary election to additionally file nomination documents for another office if a filing extension is granted for that second office because the incumbent has not filed nomination documents. The bill would provide that the candidate’s act of filing for the second office constitutes an automatic withdrawal from candidacy for the first office. The bill would further provide that if the candidate who withdraws from the first office is the incumbent of that first office, the period to file nomination documents for that first office would extend by five days, effectively until 5 p.m. on the 78th day before the primary election.

“In my commitment to uphold the integrity of our electoral process, I am proud to announce the release of AB 1795. The recent decision by the Sacramento County Superior Court highlights a glaring loophole in our electoral system, one that permits a candidate to contest multiple offices simultaneously, potentially leading to an elected position being vacated and triggering an expensive special election,” said Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo. “This is not just an administrative concern; it's a matter of democratic principle. California, as a state of progressive values and fair governance, cannot allow such ambiguities to erode the trust and confidence of its citizens in the electoral process.”

When a candidate secures multiple positions but is restricted to serving in just one, it can create a vacant seat and necessitate an expensive special election, likely to attract a scant and unrepresentative voter turnout, leaving constituents without their elected representative until another can be installed. The cost of special elections is costly to both State and County. In previous years, local counties strapped for funding have requested the state pay for the costs associated with special elections. 

“With a projected California state budget deficit of $68 billion, it is not financially prudent to force unnecessary costs onto already hurting Californians,” continued Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo. “It is clear that we need common sense election reforms that uphold our democracy and ensure fair and open elections. AB 1795 is a necessary and practical election reform that eliminates ambiguity in law that prohibits the possibility of a candidate running for two different offices simultaneously which creates confusion and voter disenfranchisement.” 

Aimed at preventing the complexities and financial strain of dual candidacies and unnecessary special elections, AB 1795 provides a practical measure designed to reinforce the integrity of our electoral system and uphold the democratic principle of fair representation. 


About Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo

Assemblywoman Carrillo was elected to serve in the State Assembly in December 2017. She represents the 52nd Assembly District, which includes East Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles, and South Glendale. She serves on the Assembly Committees on Appropriations, Emergency Management, Health, Labor and Employment, and the Joint Committee on Climate Change Policies. She also serves as the Chair of the Select Committee on Latina Inequities, Vice Chair of the Legislative Progressive Caucus, Commissioner for the California Film Commission, Commissioner for the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, and Member of the California Cultural and Historical Endowment Board.