For the first time in California history, a ballot will make its way in the mail this week to every registered California voter, a decision made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that will reshape the election experience as well as the strategies of campaigns and candidates.
More than 21 million ballots will be mailed, more than in any state in the nation. Most will arrive this week, though some counties began the process almost two weeks ago. State law requires absentee ballots to be mailed no later than Monday, 29 days before the Nov. 3 election.
Few states have moved more decisively toward voting by mail over the last two decades than California, and the results have been striking. At least two-thirds of the ballots cast in the three most recent statewide elections had been mailed to voters, peaking at 72% of all votes recorded in the March primary.