Universal Vote-By-Mail Ballots Are Here To Stay In California

Jamie Ferrell Jamie Ferrell

Universal Vote-By-Mail Ballots Are Here To Stay In California

Newsom aims to improve election integrity with new legislation.

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill Monday in an effort to improve election access across the state, according to a press release. The bill will make universal vote-by-mail ballots permanent, meaning that all active registered voters will receive a ballot in the mail. The measure began in 2020 during pandemic disruptions, resulting in a record number of voters participating in the election.

Other bills signed include SB 35, which changes the proximity in which electioneering and political activities may take place near a voting site; AB 1367, which increases penalties for excessive personal use of campaign funds; and SB 686, which requires LLCs to be more transparent about their engagement in campaign activity.

“As states across our country continue to enact undemocratic voter suppression laws, California is increasing voter access, expanding voting options and bolstering elections integrity and transparency,” said Governor Newsom. “Last year we took unprecedented steps to ensure all voters had the opportunity to cast a ballot during the pandemic and today we are making those measures permanent after record-breaking participation in the 2020 presidential election. I extend my thanks to Assembly Elections Committee Chair Assemblymember Marc Berman for his leadership on this issue.”

These aren’t the only changes being proposed in California’s government. Governor Newsom beat back the recall election in the middle of September, with a vast majority of ballots voting “no” on the recall in an effort to keep him in office. Democrats in the Legislature are now seeking reforms to the recall process, such as increasing the number of signatures needed, requiring wrongdoing by the individual in office, and modifying the process allowing someone with a small amount of votes to take the governor’s place. Newsom has said that be believes the recall process to be “weaponized.”


Featured image: Jason Busa via Shutterstock

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