California’s universal voting by mail becomes permanent

No.936643 View View Original Post Selector Report
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-09-27/california-universal-voting-by-mail-becomes-permanent

SACRAMENTO —

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.

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, providing a symbolic counterweight to a handful of other states where access to voting could be significantly curtailed before the 2022 elections — a contrast Newsom highlighted in announcing his signature on the bill, and one likely to be echoed by Democrats across the country.

California’s new law 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.