SACRAMENTO, Calif. —
A Sutter County judge finalized a ruling Friday night saying Gov. Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority when mandating all Californians receive mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 general election.
The lawsuit stemmed from an executive order that was issued before the legislature passed a similar law. Two Assembly members — James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) sued, claiming that the governor did not have the authority to issue this order.
The executive action was taken as part of the California Emergency Services Act, or CESA, which gives Newsom special powers during a public emergency — in this case the novel coronavirus pandemic. Newsom signed an executive order that mandated all registered voters receive vote-by-mail ballots and allowed counties to reduce precincts on Election Day if they provide in-person voting centers for at least three days prior as a way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.