On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) signed a bill into law that permanently enacts “vote-by-mail” procedures in every state election, including automatically mailing out ballots to every single registered voter in the state, the Daily Caller reports.
The drastic mail-in voting measures, which are highly susceptible to fraud and manipulation, were originally enacted as an emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic, and ostensibly aimed to make it safer to carry out elections. However, State Assembly Bill 37 sought to permanently extend this procedure for all California elections, after the original coronavirus-based procedures were set to expire on June 1st, 2022.
In addition to automatically mailing out ballots to all voters in every election from now on, the new law extends the post-election day window in which late ballots can still be received. Prior to the pandemic, voters had up to three days after election day to submit their ballots and still have their votes counted; now, voters have up to seven days to do so.
Newsom’s initial efforts to implement mail-in voting faced legal action from two Republican Assemblymen, who sued the governor in June of 2020. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed by the Third District Court of Appeals, which claimed that Newsom was within his rights as governor to use emergency procedures to enact mail-in voting during the pandemic.
After signing the bill into law, Newsom – who recently survived a recall election largely due to mail-in voting – made a statement celebrating the new law.
“Last year we took unprecedented steps to ensure all voters had the opportunity to cast a ballot during the pandemic,” the governor said. “And today we are making those measures permanent after record-breaking participation in the 2020 presidential election.”
California is now the eighth state in the country to enact such drastic mail-in voting measures, a trend that is primarily seen among other heavily Democratic states. The other seven are Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington.