Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he officially gave his signature to a new law which has now made voting-by-mail permanent in all future California elections.
As The LA Times reports:
California’s pandemic-inspired move toward mailing a ballot to every registered, active voter will become a permanent part of the state’s political landscape, an embrace of an extended and flexible voting process instead of the traditional focus on a single day of voting in person.
BREAKING: California is now PERMANENTLY a vote-by-mail state.
Because we believe in making voting EASIER and for every voice to be heard. https://t.co/zGXkPPobBa
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 27, 2021
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature Monday on Assembly Bill 37 makes California the eighth state in the nation with a law on the books requiring every voter to be mailed a ballot. The new law is part of an evolution of voting in the state over the last two decades, an effort to provide voters more options for when and where to cast their ballots.
“Data shows that sending everyone a ballot in the mail provides voters access. And when voters get ballots in the mail, they vote,” Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto), the bill’s author, said during a Senate committee hearing in July.
The law takes effect in January and will require ballots to be mailed to all voters for statewide elections in June and November. AB 37 also applies to local elections, potentially improving turnout in community contests but also increasing costs, given that vote-by-mail ballots are provided with prepaid postage.