State Assembly Bill 37 extended a pandemic-driven accommodation that automatically mailed a ballot to every voter in the state and was set to expire Jan. 1, 2022, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The bill also maintained an extension of the date by which ballots should be received. As opposed to a three-day deadline stipulated by law prior to COVID-19 amendments, the ballots will now continue to be allowed to arrive within seven days after election day.
“Last year we took unprecedented steps to ensure all voters had the opportunity to cast a ballot during the pandemic and today we are making those measures permanent after record-breaking participation in the 2020 presidential election,” Newsom said in a Monday statement.
BREAKING: California is now PERMANENTLY a vote-by-mail state.
The governor had to fight a lawsuit stemming from his support of the expansion of mail-in-voting.
Two Republican California assemblymen sued Newsom in June of 2020 over his executive order to send mail-in ballots to every voter, alleging an abuse of power. Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman ruled in favor of the lawsuit in November of 2020.
The Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento, however, overruled that decision early May 2021, stating that Newsom was within his rights to expand mail-in-voting during the pandemic.
California became the eighth vote-by-mail state in the nation, following in the footsteps of Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington, according to Ballotpedia.