Absentee ballot reform law in effect | TheUnion.com

Absentee ballot reform law in effect

Voters can say goodbye to the polling booth under a new law that allows all California voters permanent absentee voter status.

Until the new Absentee Ballot Reform law took effect Jan. 1, only voters with certain physical conditions could seek permanent absentee status.

Now, all California voters are eligible, and several hundred Nevada County residents have signed up so far.

Permanent absentee voting status allows people to receive their ballots in the mail. They can vote from home or elsewhere and receive their ballots in the mail.

With thousands of applications to be mailed this week with sample ballot booklets, Nevada County Clerk-Recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick said she expects more to sign up by the Feb. 26 deadline to vote absentee in this election.

“Everybody seems very happy to claim this,” Jewett-Burdick said.

Nevada County is mailing out 58,000 sample ballots to registered voters in the county this week. Each of the samples will have an application for an absentee voter’s ballot on the back page and a box that can be checked if a voter wants to become a permanent absentee voter.

The permanent status is supposed to be more convenient and give voters more time to review ballots, according to a statement issued by the law’s author, Assembly Majority Leader Kevin Shelley, D-San Francisco.

It is also designed to make voting less intimidating for people whose first language is not English, Shelley said.

Permanent absentee voters will be mailed ballots before every future election unless they move or fail to vote.

Feb. 4 is the first day that local registrars will accept absentee ballots.

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