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2020 California Elections: The COVID-19 Edition

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Social distancing is coming to an election near you, Southern California.

Governor Newsom issued an executive order late tonight that extends the deadline for counties to certify election results by 21 days, to April 24. (The Secretary of State then has until May 1 to certify the entire statewide primary.)

Newsom also ordered counties to send mail-in ballots to every voter in three upcoming special elections:

  • A May 12 election to fill the vacant 25th Congressional District seat in North L.A. County left empty when Democrat Katie Hill resigned
  • A May 12 election to fill the 28th state senate district office vacant after Republican Jeff Stone stepped down
  • An April 7 special recall election in the City of Westminster.

In-person voting will also be available “in a manner consistent with public health and safety.

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The order is in response to COVID-19 precautions — designed to make sure voters don't have to go in-person to cast a ballot.

Also, "[t]his will give county elections officials the time to complete their vote counting and required auditing while adhering to public health guidelines,” said Secretary of State Alex Padilla in a statement.

Padilla also hinted at more changes ahead for the general election in November:

While the impacts felt by the current health pandemic are developing on a daily basis, the Secretary of State is reviewing options for the safe and healthy administration of the November General Election.


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