Every registered eligible voter in California will receive a mail-in ballot for the November election.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Friday, making it the first in the nation for this upcoming election.
Postage will be paid for so people can choose to vote from home can do so safely.
"Making sure your health is protected and to make sure we are reaching out to all registered eligible voters and giving them the opportunity and giving them the choice not to feel like they have to go into a concentrated, dense environment where their health may become at risk. But provide an additional asset, an additional resource by way of voting by mail."
Newsom said the order does not eliminate in-person voting. Californians who may need access to in-person voting opportunities – including individuals with disabilities, individuals who speak languages other than English, individuals experiencing homelessness, and others – will still be able to access in-person voting opportunities.
“Elections and the right to vote are foundational to our democracy,” Newsom said. “No Californian should be forced to risk their health in order to exercise their right to vote. Mail-in ballots aren’t a perfect solution for every person, and I look forward to our public health experts and the Secretary of State’s and the Legislature’s continued partnership to create safer in-person opportunities for Californians who aren’t able to vote by mail.”
The governor's office stated in a press release if by May 30 counties do not yet have clarity for in-person voting opportunities and other details of the November election, it may be necessary to issue a further executive order addressing these issues.
“California will not force voters to choose between protecting their health and exercising their right to vote. I thank Governor Newsom for taking decisive action now, to preserve voting rights and provide sufficient time to properly prepare for the General Election,” said Secretary of State Alex Padilla. “Today we become the first state in the nation to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by mailing every registered voter a ballot. We are meeting our obligation to provide an accessible, secure, and safe election this November. Sending every registered voter a ballot by mail is smart policy and absolutely the right thing to do during this COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Today’s executive order is a critical first step to ensuring California’s November 2020 election is safe and accessible,” said Jonathan Mehta Stein, Executive Director of California Common Cause. “While other states are fighting for access to vote-by-mail ballots, Governor Newsom has ensured that for California voters and we can now push ahead, together, on the difficult work of ensuring in-person voting sites for voters with language needs, voters with disabilities, voters without reliable access to mail, and other voters who need in-person voting to access their vote.”
With Stage 2 of the reopening plan in effect, Newsom says roughly 70 percent of businesses were able to reopen under modifications.
Newsom also announced more than 875,000 tests have been conducted statewide with 32,000 tests being done daily.