California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed an executive order that will send every registered voter in the state a mail-in ballot for November’s presidential election — immediately raising concerns from Republicans that it could lead to fraud and abuse.
“Elections and the right to vote are foundational to our democracy,” Newsom said in a statement. “No Californian should be forced to risk their health in order to exercise their right to vote.”
The move is in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down a number of in-person voting opportunities in primaries and local elections out of fear of the virus spreading. California becomes the first state to automatically send voters their ballots ahead of the general election.
Newsom emphasized that Californians will continue to have access to in-person voting sites.