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California to Send All Registered Voters Mail-in Ballots for November Election

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the executive order on Friday

California will send all registered voters in the state a mail-in ballot for the upcoming Nov. 3 election, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered on Friday.

In-person voting will still be available, but the mail-in ballots will help protect voters’ and volunteers’ safety amid the pandemic, the governor said.

“There’s a lot of concern and anxiety around this November’s election in terms of making sure that you can conduct yourself in a safe way and to make sure that your health is protected,” Newsom said.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla said California was the first state in the U.S. to be sending all voters vote-by-mail ballots in response to the pandemic.

“It’s great for public health, it’s great for voting rights, it’s going to be great for participation,” Padilla said, adding that Californians should check to make sure their voter registration information is up to date. “This is a huge first step.”

Last month, Los Angeles County also announced that it would be sending all 5.4 million registered voters a mail-in ballot for the election.

The move essentially accelerated an element of the 2016 Voter’s Choice Act, which requires that all registered voters get mail-in ballots. L.A. County was originally given a pass on the vote-by-mail requirement and wasn’t expected to send all registered voters a vote-by-mail ballot until 2024.