California Gov. Gavin Newsom looks on during a press conference at The Unity Council in Oakland, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
UPDATED 1:27 PM PT – Tuesday, September 28, 2021
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a voting bill into law, one which Republicans have highly opposed. The legislation, signed by Newsom on Monday, would require the state to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters for future elections.
In the past, voters had to request a mail-in ballot for specific reasons. However, the new law would allow all California voters to get a mail-in ballot even if it wasn’t requested.
Republicans have said the mass mailing of ballots could lead to potential fraud, while proponents said mail-in ballots made voting more convenient.
“They still have the opportunity to vote in person if they prefer, but the mail in ballot is going to get sent to them event without them requesting one,” explained Allen Bolar, professor at California State University Bakersfield. “I think before the pandemic hit, we were already to 60 or even 70 percent of voters mailing in their vote. That increased last year.”
California has joined several other Democrat-led states in making universal mail-in voting permanent.