Gov. Gavin Newsom signs executive order to expand early voting in 2020 election

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday modifying rules for in-person voting in the 2020 presidential election.

The new order requires counties to hold at least three days of in-person early voting. It also mandates ballot drop-box locations be available between Oct. 6 and Nov. 3.

Last month, the governor signed an executive order to send every registered California voter a mail-in ballot.

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"There's no safer, physically distancing, healthier way to exercise your right to vote than from the safety and convenience of your own home," said Secretary of State Alex Padilla at the time.

With more alternative ways for Californians to vote, Newsom's executive order also allows counties to reduce the number of in-person polling locations, as long as there is still one polling place per 10,000 residents.

"We are committed to protecting the hard-fought right for Californians to make their voices heard this November, even in the face of a pandemic," Newsom said in a press release. "As the demonstrations across the country remind us, civic participation is critical to our democracy. If we are to address the racial inequities that exist in our institutions, policies and representation, we must ensure that all eligible Californians have an opportunity to safely cast their ballot."

Newsom is not holding a press conference at noon Wednesday. He had previously been holding the briefings daily, but reduced the frequency to be more occasional updates on the state's response to COVID-19.

The 2020 presidential election will be on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

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