2022 Voting Laws in California

New voting laws in California will allow residents to make votes by mail. An innovation of Assembly Bill No. 37 turned into law, voters in California will now have the right to cast votes using a mail ballot. Former voting laws only made the mail voting option available to voters with disabilities. Following the new legislation, the vote-by-mail ballot will apply to all registered voters in the state. Moreover, residents can now use mail ballots to vote in local elections. 

The law likewise will ensure the provision of a tracking system that enables people with disabilities to know the status of their mail ballots. Using the tracking system, such persons will have constant knowledge of the movement of their ballot from when it was sent to being counted. The deadline under old laws required people that intend to exercise their voting rights via mail to do so before the election or on that day. If they delivered their ballot using a postal service, they must use an appropriate postal service and ensure that it gets to the center early. Mail ballots that were gotten three days past the election day are invalid. 

Thanks to the new voting law, the period for timely votes sent through the mail has increased by four days for a total of seven days. However, the failure of the individual voting to have the mail delivered during the appropriate time will invalidate their vote.  

The delivery must be postmarked or time-stamped at the appropriate time that it was delivered to confirm it was not also sent past the legal period. Mail ballots postmarked or date stamped after the election period are not valid. However, mail ballots that have no postmark or date are considered valid if the delivery arrived within the specified period. 

To ensure that mail ballots are easy to return to officials, the law requires each county to have two drop-off locations. California counties with less than 30,000 residents can have just one center to serve their jurisdiction. All centers reserved for votes by mail delivery must start to function no later than 28 days before the election day. The legislation also requires each county to provide a drop-off container outside the location that operates for no less than 12 hours daily.

Processing of the votes cast via mail can commence 29 days before the election occurs, including validating the participants’ signatures and updating their voting data. According to the laws, the verification of the voting signature involves cross checking if it matches with that of the return envelope that the mail ballot was delivered in.