CALIFORNIA: VOTE BY MAIL FOR SECURE ELECTIONS IN 2020
ABOUT THIS RESOURCE
Sightline’s state-by-state guides are designed to give local election officials and legislators the information they need to identify and take the most important steps to get ready for November. Each set of state-specific resources includes best practices and established models from around the country, including practical nuts and bolts advice for clerks, materials from election administrators with experience conducting all mail elections, and information about vendors and costs.
How California is prepared for Vote By Mail
- Provides a postage-prepaid return envelope for mailed ballots.
- Ballot tracking required by state law.
- Gives voters sufficient opportunity to cure signature problems.
- Allows any voter to request an absentee ballot.
- Offers voters a “single sign-up” option to permanently vote by mail.
- Uses voters’ signatures to verify ballots.
- Allows county clerks to start processing ballots sufficiently early.
- Accepts mailed ballots postmarked on Election Day.
- Allows early in-person voting starting three weeks before Election Day.
- Allows anyone to return sealed ballots in person.
- Automatically registers voters and updates their address.
RECOMMENDED STEPS FOR SECURE ELECTIONS
Within each section, recommendations are arranged roughly in order of importance and ease of implementation.
For Local Election Officials
- Coordinate with USPS.
- Design ballots and envelopes that are easy to use.
- Implement robust signature verification.
- Consider using a professional printer and ballot sorter.
- Count ballots at a secure centralized facility.
- Join the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).
- Account for voters with nontraditional addresses.
- Allow voters to request an absentee ballot online.
- Allow voters to request replacement ballots online.
Photos: Vote By Mail in California. Shutterstock.