On May 8, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed an executive order directing county election officials to deliver mail-in ballots automatically to all registered voters in the November 3, 2020, general election. Newsom announced that in-person voting locations would also be available.
Under normal circumstances, California allows any registered voter to cast a ballot by mail, but the voter must first request a mail-in ballot. Under Newsom’s order, a voter will not have to take any action in order to receive a mail-in ballot.
To date, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, five states have chosen to send mail-in ballots automatically to all voters in certain elections. California is the first to extend the practice to November’s general election.