Los Angeles County Supervisors Janice Hahn and Sheila Kuehl are proposing sending a vote-by-mail ballot to all eligible L.A. County voters for the general election this November amid the ongoing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“No one should have to choose between their health and their right to vote,” said Hahn, who authored the motion. “We don’t know what challenges we will be facing in this pandemic this November, but by sending every voter a mail-in-ballot we can ensure that everyone can cast their ballot safely, no matter what the future holds.”
The current “Safer At Home” public health order is set to expire May 15, 2020 but health officials have acknowledged that some form of social distancing will be needed for an extended period of time and that “Safer At Home” orders may be re-issued if deemed necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, according to a county statement.
These issues could present challenges for the general election, including possibly hampering the recruitment of election workers or making it difficult for in-person voting locations to meet capacity demands while ensuring social distancing.
“Nothing, including all the challenges related to COVID19, should be allowed to prevent voters from casting their ballots in November,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who coauthored the motion. “This motion takes necessary steps to ensure that all LA County voters could vote by mail in November.*
The Hahn-Kuehl proposal, which will be voted on during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, would mean that the County of Los Angeles would send mail-in-ballots to every eligible voter in all elections starting with the November 3, 2020 general election.
It would also instruct the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of voters and election workers. The supervisors have also proposed sending letters to both the Los Angeles County Congressional delegation and the Los Angeles County State Legislative delegation urging that funding be allocated to support the implementation of expanded vote-by-mail models.