Following a primary election marred by long wait times and technical issues, Los Angeles will send all 5.4 million registered voters in the county a mail-in ballot for the November election. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of the measure on Tuesday, citing concerns over the unpredictability of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In-person voting will still be available in L.A. County for the general election, but the board instructed the registrar-recorder/county clerk to have safety measures in place to help protect volunteers and voters from the virus.
“No one should have to choose between their health and their right to vote,” Supervisor Janice Hahn, who co-authored the motion, said. “We don’t know what challenges we will be facing in this pandemic this fall, but by sending every voter a mail-in-ballot we can ensure that everyone can cast their ballot safely, no matter what the future holds.”
The decision accelerates an element of the Voter’s Choice Act, passed in 2016, which mandates sending all registered voters mail-in ballots. L.A. County, which participates in the VCA, was originally given a pass on the vote-by-mail requirement due to a provision that will expire in 2024. Thus, under the original timeline, L.A. County wasn’t expected to send all registered voters a vote-by-mail ballot until 2024.
Already, two-thirds of voting in California is submitted through mail-in ballots, according to USA Today. Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington send all registered voters in their respective states vote-by-mail ballots.
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