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March 13, 2020
SOS Press Office
(916) 653-6575

Secretary Padilla Statement on American Elections in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic

SACRAMENTO, CA - Today, the Chief Elections Officials in four states holding primary elections on Tuesday, March 17 confirmed that the elections would proceed, and that by following the directives of public health officials, voters could cast their ballots safely and securely. Meanwhile, Louisiana officials announced today that it would be postponing its primary elections.

"The bipartisan statement by the chief elections officials in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio is precisely the spirit we need as we confront the COVID-19 pandemic. We should take pride in the resiliency of our democracy, even in the face of this pandemic. Elections and public health officials can and must work together to deliver free and fair elections that are safe and accessible to all citizens."

"In California, we are closely monitoring directives from the Governor and public health officials that may impact the administration of elections. The Presidential Primary Election took place last week, and we have some time to prepare for the November 3, 2020 General Election. Fortunately, California has the elections infrastructure to provide all eligible citizens the option to vote from home should the COVID-19 pandemic continue. Any California voter can already register to vote-by-mail, no excuse needed, and all vote-by-mail ballots come with prepaid postage return envelopes.”

“Further, I urge Congress to pass legislation and approve the necessary funding to make no excuse vote-by-mail opportunities for all eligible citizens the national standard in time for the November 3, 2020 General Elections. American democracy depends on all citizens’ safe and unfettered access to the ballot."


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