Fact Check: Jarrett Stepman Did NOT Receive A Ballot To A Home Where He Doesn't Live - He Received A Voter Information Packet

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Jarrett Stepman Did NOT Receive A Ballot To A Home Where He Doesn't Live - He Received A Voter Information Packet Not A Ballot

Did a man who no longer lives in California receive an election ballot at his parents' house? No, that's not true. Jarrett Stepman, who is employed by The Daily Signal, a conservative news outlet, claimed on Twitter his parents received his ballot although he says he hasn't lived in California in 10 years. California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted that this was "false" and California ballots were not being mailed until October 5, 2020. Stepman sent a second tweet claiming "the actual ballot is soon to come," and claimed he has informed the state that he no longer resides in California. The California secretary of state's office told Lead Stories the mailer Stepman posted was a voter information packet and it was not from the state office but was from Alameda County Election Office.

The claim appeared as a post (archived here) where it was published by Jarret Stepman Twitter on Septebmer 4, 2020. It opened:

My parents, who live in California, just received my voting ballot. I haven't lived in California for 10 years... This mass mail in election is going to go great!

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Tue Sep 8 05:46:27 2020 UTC)

This was Stepman's original tweet:

Gov. Newsom's response said: "Just so we're all clear -- this is FALSE. Ballots don't get mailed in CA until next month." California vote-by-mail ballots will begin being mailed on October 5, 2020, according to the state.

Stepman's follow-up tweet said there was no "actual ballot" but it was "soon to come."

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla's office explained to Lead Stories the photograph of the mailer on Stepman's Twitter account was not sent from his office but from Alameda County's official election office. "County election officials will disseminate their own mailers with information specific to their counties," the office explained.

Stepman posted a picture of the mailer he received.

Screen Shot 2020-09-08 at 1.35.16 AM.png

Stepman claimed "CA refuses to believe I no longer live there despite telling them otherwise. They treat me as if I'm a CA voter and I haven't been for a decade.." Secretary Padilla's office explained the process of removing someone from the voter registration list:

Voters will be given an "inactive" status when a county elections official receives information (for example, from the post office) indicating the voter has moved out of state or mail is returned undeliverable without a forwarding address. For more information on state law "change of address" and "inactive" status procedures, see California Elections Code sections 2220 to 2227.

The Secretary of State conducts regular voter registration list maintenance using a change of address service or services based on the United States Postal Service National Change of Address (NCOA) database to identify address changes for registered voters.

Voters will be given an "inactive" status when a county elections official receives information (for example, from the post office) indicating the voter has moved out of state or mail is returned undeliverable without a forwarding address. For more information on state law "change of address" and "inactive" status procedures, see California Elections Code sections 2220 to 2227.

The Secretary of State conducts regular voter registration list maintenance using a change of address service or services based on the United States Postal Service National Change of Address (NCOA) database to identify address changes for registered voters.

We only mail official ballots to active, registered voters. Elections officials conduct regular voter roll maintenance--running death records, felony records, change of address information against the voter rolls.

The secretary of state's press office told Lead Stories how the vote-by-mail ballots are verified:

California county elections officials check each and every vote-by-mail ballot that is cast. Vote-by-mail ballots have specific paper types and watermarks. Every vote-by-mail ballot return envelope has a unique bar code that elections officials scan. Elections officials check to see if the voter has already cast a ballot elsewhere. Ballots cannot be returned in a different envelope. A voter's signature on the vote-by-mail ballot return envelope is compared against the voter's registration record. If a signature is missing or does not match the registration record, elections officials will reach out to the voter. If the voter does not respond and provide a missing/corrected signature, the ballot will not count.

If a voter goes to the polls without their vote-by-mail ballot, they will have to vote a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are processed after polling place and vote-by-mail ballots. County elections officials verify the voter's registration and check to see if the voter cast a ballot elsewhere before counting these ballots. Some counties, such as San Mateo and Santa Clara, may have vote centers equipped with electronic poll books. This technology allows them to see if the voter has already cast a ballot, and if not, print them a regular ballot.

The office warned that voting more than once is a crime in California:


Further, under California Elections Code 18560, every person is guilty of a crime who "votes more than once, attempts to vote more than once, or knowingly hands in two or more ballots folded together at that election.

About us

International Fact-Checking Organization

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Follow us on social media

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion