Executive order directs county clerks to prepare ballots to send to more than 20 million voters
Citing concerns over the threat of COVID-19 to Californians showing up in person at voting locations this fall, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday ordered ballots to be mailed to the state's 20.6 million voters for the November election while imposing strict new rules for anyone who participates in person.
The decision, Newsom said, reflects the assessment from health officials that the COVID-19 pandemic will not have subsided enough to permit the election to move forward under its traditional rules.
The order requires that each county’s elections officials send vote-by-mail ballots for the November 3, 2020 General Election to all registered voters.
Californians who may need access to in-person voting opportunities – including individuals with disabilities, individuals who speak languages other than English, individuals experiencing homelessness, and others – will still be able to access in-person voting opportunities.
“Elections and the right to vote are foundational to our democracy,” said Newsom. “No Californian should be forced to risk their health in order to exercise their right to vote. Mail-in ballots aren’t a perfect solution for every person, and I look forward to our public health experts and the Secretary of State’s and the Legislature’s continued partnership to create safer in-person opportunities for Californians who aren’t able to vote by mail.”