Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new executive order Friday requiring all counties to provide mail-in ballots to California's 20.6 million registered voters due to concerns about the novel coronavirus outbreak.
"[We want] to make sure we are reaching out to all registered and eligible voters and giving them the opportunity and the choice so they don't have to feel like they have to go into a concentrated, dense environment, where their health may be at risk," Newsom said.
Here are three things you need to know about the new executive order:
1) First in the nation
California is now the first state in the U.S. to provide absentee ballots to all registered voters as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
"There's no safer, physically distancing, healthier way to exercise your right to vote than from the safety and convenience of your own home," Secretary of State Alex Padilla said.
This does not mean, however, an end to in-person voting. Padilla is expected to provide further guidance to counties next week as to how polling centers could change in November.
"There may be fewer in-person voting locations, and polling centers may not be open for as many days," predicted Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation. "But I think overall, we may see California voters having more uniformity in their voting experiences than they actually did in March." (full story)