Postal Cuts Could Force Change in California Voting

Election officials are trying to work to get ahead of scheduled postal center closures that could delay ballots and leave thousands of voters potentially disenfranchised. In response, some are discussing changes to how California counts vote-by-mail ballots.

Currently, election workers must receive ballots by the close of the polls on Election Day. However, that rule could be changed to allot ballots post-marked by Election Day to be considered valid.

If that change happens, it could mean the end of instant election results, as ballots could be received for days after the election formally ends.

The proposed closures won’t take effect until after the primary, but the Legislature is moving ahead with urgency legislation that would prepare the State sooner rather than later.

From the Associated Press:

California lawmakers and election officials worried about the effect of postal closures on elections are considering extending the voting period for mail-in-ballots, a move that could delay results by days or even weeks.

Election officials are concerned that longer delivery times will disenfranchise tens of thousands of absentee voters after the U.S. Postal Service begins closing post offices and mail distribution centers this summer.

Read the full article here.

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