UPDATED 2:10 PM PT — Friday, May 8, 2020
California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order that will allow for mail-in ballots to be used in November’s general election. According to Newsom, guidelines for those who still want to head to the ballot box on Election Day are still in the works.
The move made California the first state to commit to sending every voter a mail-in ballot amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The governor cited ongoing health concerns surrounding COVID-19 and added he wants to make sure residents can exercise their right to vote while still staying safe.
“That mail-in ballot is important, but it’s not an exclusive substitute to physical locations,” stated Newsom. “People that otherwise are not familiar with mail-in ballots, are uncomfortable with them, have disabilities or other issues that may preclude that as an appropriate option, we still want to have the appropriate number of physical sites for people to vote as well.”
He went on to say Secretary of State Alex Padilla is working to make sure physical voting locations will be up and running in November.
In the meantime, some Republicans across the state have reacted to the news by raising concerns of potential voter fraud. It’s unclear if the governor has any plans to address election security moving forward.