On the day that California starts to ease off on coronavirus restrictions, Governor Gavin Newsom revealed that the Golden State will be the first state in the nation to allow full mail-in voting for the November election because of the global health crisis
Speaking from a reopened florist on Friday, Newsom said in his daily briefing on COVID-19 that he had signed an executive order that will see ballots sent out to over 20 million registered voters. “Every Californian who is eligible to vote in the November 3, 2020 General Election shall receive a vote-by-mail ballot,” says the Executive Order.
Even though Cali saw over 70% of voters mail in their ballots in the March primary, the move by Newsom is counter to the usual system where citizen have to request a mail-in ballot to receive one.
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It is also very much in opposition to Donald Trump.
Running far behind in California and lagging across the nation to the Democrats’ presumptive nominee Joe Biden, the incumbent has strongly encouraged in person voting, even with the health risks presented in primaries and the general election. No fan of the USPS either, Trump and Republicans worry mail-in voting will further hurt their results in an election that is emerging as a referendum on the former Celebrity Apprentice host’s (mis)handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
“There’s a lot of excitement around this November’s election in terms of making sure that you can conduct yourself in a safe way, and make sure your health is protected,” Gov. Newsom proclaimed today in his wide-ranging briefing from a San Francisco retailer.
Even with the mail-in ballots, there will still be in-person voting, but state officials say they are still figuring out how that will work with concerns of a second coronavirus wave hitting the already hard-hit state in the fall. Only intended for the November general election in the usually Blue state, the mailings are expected to start arriving in residential mailboxes in the summer.
“There’s no safer, physically distancing, healthier way to exercise your right to vote than from the safety and convenience of your own home,” CA Secretary of State Alex Padilla noted on Friday.
With many retailers and local hiking trails now in various degrees of reopening this Mother’s Day weekend, confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths are still rising in California, local and state health officials announced Friday.
Simultaneously, the state now has its worst budget deficit ever with a projected $54 billion shortfall due to economic and social consequences of the pandemic. Further hurting the world’s 8th biggest economy, which is what Cali is, will be an unemployment rate that Gov. Newsom said today was “north of 20%” as of this week.
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