Political Notebook

Patterson bill aimed at aiding military voters scuttled

A bill championed by Fresno Republican Jim Patterson as a benefit for military members serving overseas was scuttled Tuesday.

Current California law states that all ballots must be received by Election Day in order to be counted. Assembly Bill 269 from Patterson and Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, would give members of the military stationed overseas an extra three days for their ballots to reach election officials, as long as they are postmarked on or before the day voters go to the polls.

Two Blue Star Moms testified before the Senate Elections Committee on Tuesday about the importance of the bill. Then the committee amended the bill so it no longer mentions any benefits for California troops.

"Thanks to the votes of this committee, thousands of ballots from men and women serving overseas will continue to be shredded when they arrive a few days after the polls close," Patterson said in a statement. "They should be counted and we're going to continue to fight."

According to Patterson's office, data from the 2012 general election shows that 87% of late overseas absentee ballots arrived within three days after Election Day.