California makes universal postal voting permanent

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Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill making California the eighth state to make postal voting universal

California on Monday became the eighth and by far the largest US state to make the universal distribution of mail-in ballots permanent, a practice that has become widespread during the pandemic.

The measure requiring that postal ballots now be sent systematically to every active registered voter was enacted by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday evening.

Its passage in one of the nation’s most heavily Democratic and populous states contrasted starkly with a wave of new voting requirements passed this year by Republican-controlled legislatures in Texas and the battlefield states of Georgia. , Florida and Arizona.

California has the highest number of registered voters in the country, has more than several other states combined, and has voted for a Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 1992.

In 2020, 63.5% of state voters backed Joe Biden to replace Donald Trump in the White House. Over 86 percent were cast using postal ballots.

Republicans who advocate such restrictions have spoken of the need for tighter election security to root out suspected fraud that Trump says cost him the November election without evidence.

California Republican Party President Jessica Millan Patterson said in a statement: “The California Republican Party is committed to ensuring that elections are safe, fair and secure, giving voters the confidence they need to vote.

“It’s no secret that Democrats have tried and will continue to try to manipulate the electoral rules to their political advantage. Republicans will hold them accountable through our electoral integrity operations – including litigation, where applicable – and by recruiting and supporting candidates who will provide solutions to California’s many challenges.

Trump and other members of his party have wrongly referred to postal ballots, in particular, as somehow vulnerable to tampering.

Democrats and some Republicans countered that these claims were unfounded and that improving voter convenience through ballots that could be delivered by mail or to “drop-box” collection sites did not. only increased voter turnout.

California has the highest number of registered voters in the country, has more than several other states combined, and has voted for a Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 1992.

California Republican Party President Jessica Millan Patterson said:

California has the highest number of registered voters in the country, has more than several other states combined, and has voted for a Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 1992.

“When voters receive a ballot in the mail, they vote,” California lawmaker Marc Berman, chief author of the Postal Voting Bill, said in a statement. “We saw it in the 2020 general election when, in the midst of a global health pandemic, we had the highest turnout in California since Harry Truman was president.”

“Voters love the ability to return their ballot, whether by mail, to a secure drop box, a polling station, or a traditional polling station. And the more people who participate in elections, the stronger our democracy and the more confidence we have that the election reflects the will of the Californian people, ”California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, a Democrat, said in a statement.

California voters still have the option of voting at polling stations on election day if they choose.

The state’s electorate has grown since the passage of laws allowing automatic registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles and allowing residents to register until election day.

California was one of four states – along with Nevada, Vermont, and Utah – to adopt universal mail-in ballots during the 2020 election cycle as an alternative to in-person voting in response to the COVID-19 crisis .

Like Utah, California had already started allowing county-by-county postal voting before the pandemic, but extended it to all voters in 2020.

The practice has been temporarily extended statewide until 2021, including the recent re-election for governor.

On the Saturday before the election, a third of registered voters voted after 22 million residents sent them by post and 75% remotely.

The bill that Newsom signed on Monday makes California the eighth state – along with Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Hawaii – to make the arrangement permanent, according to electoral reform advocacy group RepresentUs.

Utah is one of a handful of states where Republican-majority legislatures have adopted measures that make voting easier, not easier.


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