California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newson is having a ballot mailed to every voter in the state for this fall’s election and strongly urging every voter to vote by mail or adhere to strict new rules for voting in person to preserve public health in the pandemic.
California currently has a patchwork system for voting in person, one that varies by county. While the majority of local governments offer traditional polling places on election day, 14 counties already mail a ballot to every voter under provisions of a 2016 law that swaps new “vote centers” for traditional neighborhood polling places. L.A. County, the only place allowed to enact that system without mailing all voters a ballot this year, is already poised to do so for November after the March primary saw widespread problems, including long lines at in-person vote centers that are now being investigated by auditors.
Five states (Hawaii, Colorado, Utah, Washington, and Oregon) currently have vote by mail in all elections and some others are trying to move in that direction.