CA Voter Registration Deadline is Oct 19, 15 days before Nov 3, 2020.
Stage 5 -- Blended vote by mail
Online registration available
• California: California's Democratic-run state legislature has passed a bill that would automatically mail a ballot to every active registered voter for elections this year, which could include a possible recall election targeting Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. California has been in the process of transitioning to universal mail voting over the last several years, a process Democrats accelerated by sending mail ballots to all voters in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Josh Harder, U.S. House, CA-10 won
TJ Cox, U.S. House, CA-21 lost
Christy Smith, U.S. House, CA-25 lost
Gil Cisneros, U.S. House, CA-39 lost
Katie Porter, U.S. House, CA-45 won
Harley Rouda, U.S. House, CA-48 lost
Mike Levin, U.S. House, CA-49 won
Ammar Campa-Najjar, U.S. House, CA-50 lost
• California: Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law allowing counties to consolidate polling places, particularly by adding larger sites that are better equipped for social distancing. In exchange, counties must offer more in-person early voting days, and if officials do consolidate voting sites, they must still maintain at least one polling place for every 10,000 registered voters, and they must be open for Election Day and the three days preceding it. Counties are furthermore required to set up one drop box for mail ballots for every 15,000 registered voters in the four weeks before Election Day.
California is mailing a ballot to every registered voter for the first time this November. However, in-person voting and mail ballot-return options that don't rely on the U.S. Postal Service are critical given both the difficulties mail voting poses for some voters as well as the Trump administration's efforts to sabotage postal delivery service by creating delays.
California: A state Court of Appeals panel has overturned a lower court ruling that found that the city of Santa Monica had violated both the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) and state constitution by electing its City Council in a way that intentionally discriminated against Latinos. Election expert Rick Hasen deemed this ruling a major blow to the CVRA and predicted that it would lead to a wave of localities resisting lawsuits challenging their electoral systems under the law if the decision survives.
Democrats passed the CVRA in 2002 as a way to make it easier for jurisdictions with sizable Latino and Asian populations to be able to elect their preferred candidates in certain districts. The CVRA does this by making it easier to bring lawsuits challenging the use of at-large districts, where all seats are elected jurisdiction-wide, and have courts order the use of district-based elections instead. Under such a system, some districts can be drawn to elect Latino or Asian candidates if those communities are geographically concentrated.
While the CVRA was modeled on the federal Voting Rights Act, it goes further than the federal law. Under the CVRA, plaintiffs need only show the potential dilution of minority groups' votes, whereas the federal equivalent requires (among other things) a demonstration of actual vote dilution. This latest ruling, however, rejected the lower court's command that Santa Monica must hold district-based elections by determining that the CVRA does in fact require a demonstration of vote dilution just like the federal law.
The appeals court also rejected the lower court's findings of fact that white Santa Monica officials had intentionally discriminated against Latino voters. The plaintiffs have not yet indicated whether they will appeal.
Since the passage of the CVRA, a wave of litigation has prompted local governments around the state to switch to district-based elections. Hasen predicted that this ruling would turn the tide against such plaintiffs if it's upheld, but it might also prompt Democratic state legislators to pass new legislation or even a constitutional amendment to strengthen the protections intended by the existing law.
• California: Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered that all voters be sent mail-in ballots for the May 12 special election taking place in California's 25th Congressional District. A small number of in-person polling sites will remain open to assist voters who need help in casting ballots.