SACRAMENTO — California will take the unprecedented step of mailing a ballot to every active registered voter this fall after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Thursday intended to protect the November election against potential disruption by the coronavirus pandemic.
AB860 will also require county officials to count any ballot that is received within 17 days of the election, as long as it’s postmarked by election day. That’s two weeks longer than under current law, which sets a cutoff of the Friday after the election.
Newsom, who signed the bill without comment, tried to enact a similar mandate through executive order last month. His order requiring counties to send a mail ballot to every voter faces a legal challenge.
The changes do not remove the option to cast a ballot in person and would be in effect only for the 2020 general election.