Amid coronavirus fears, Newsom has ordered ballots to be mailed to the state’s 20.6 million voters for the November election.
During Friday’s pandemic briefing, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that all registered California voters would receive a mail-in ballot for November ‘s election. However, in-person voting will remain an option .
“Mail-in voting is important, but it is not an exclusive substitute to physical locations,” Newsom said.
The governor signed an executive order that ensures every registered voter in the state is mailed an absentee ballot before election day. Those voting at polling stations will need to comply with strict new safety measures to mitigate any health risks.
“There’s a lot of excitement around this November’s election in terms of making sure that you can conduct yourself in a safe way, and make sure your health is protected,” Newsom said during a midday event.
This will be the first time in state history that every voter receives a ballot via mail, it also makes California the first state in the country to put a vote-by-mail plan into place.
The announcement is a response to an assessment from health officials that estimates the threat of covid-19 would not allow for the traditional voting methods. CDC Director Robert Redfield stated a second wave in the fall could be more difficult to handle since it will coincide with flu season.
CA is now a vote by mail state.
Every registered voter will receive a mail-in ballot for the Nov election.
We’ll also provide safe in-person voting options.
The right to vote is foundational to our democracy. No one should be forced to risk their health to exercise that right.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) May 8, 2020
California’s voting system is one that varies by county. Currently, 14 counties already mail a ballot to every voter under provisions. L.A. County, a county that is not required to do so, already made a similar announcement in April.
Costs of the all-mail voting remains a particular concern to both the state and the locals, as the general election turnout is usually higher than other elections.
Featured Image: Unsplash