Ballot drop off at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office in a previous election. Photo by Chris Stone

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Friday requiring every registered voter to be sent a mail ballot in case the pandemic continues into November.

“No Californian should be forced to risk their health in order to exercise their right to vote,” said Newsom after signing the order.

Newsom acknowledged that “mail-in ballots aren’t a perfect solution for every person,” and Secretary of State Alex Padilla vowed to provide a number of alternatives. He said his office would work with registrars throughout the state to identify new, safter voting locations.

“While expanding vote-by-mail is critical, we remain committed to providing as many in-person voting opportunities, on and before Election Day, in a manner that is safe for both voters and election workers,” Padilla said. “In-person opportunities are important for voters who may need assistance or need access to same-day voter registration.”

Ballots are to be mailed 29 days prior to election day on Nov. 3. Padilla advised voters to make sure their registration is up to date.

“Today’s executive order is a critical first step to ensuring California’s November 2020 election is safe and accessible,” said Jonathan Mehta Stein, executive director of California Common Cause. “While other states are fighting for access to vote-by-mail ballots, Governor Newsom has ensured that for California voters.”

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