Two State Bills Pass to Make Vote-by-Mail Easier

Simone Graham – Editor: California has already removed some barriers to voting with online voter registration, same-day voter registration, and automatic registration at the DMV. Two more assembly bills have passed to further streamline the process:

1) Prepaid postage for mail ballots: Assembly Bill 216

While many states are moving backwards and making it harder to vote AB 216 (Gonzalez Fletcher) that makes it easier to vote by requiring county election officials to include prepaid postage on vote-by-mail ballot return envelopes. While this law goes into effect in 2019, the L.A. Times reports that 10 counties will begin providing prepaid postage envelopes in the November election (just 6 weeks away!), including Los Angeles County.

2) Enabling vote-by-mail voters to track their ballots: Assembly Bill 2218

More people than ever are voting by mail (57% in the 2016 general elections). AB 2218 (Berman) that will establish a system to allow vote-by-mail voters to track and receive information about their vote-by-mail ballots via email or text message from the county elections official about the status of his or her vote-by-mail ballot. Now voters can be assured that their ballot was received and counted, increasing confidence in the electoral process and encouraging more individuals to vote.

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