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Newsom signs order to send every registered Californian a postage-paid mail-in ballot

As Democrats continue to push expanded mail-in voting, California is now the first state to commit to sending everyone mail-in ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition, the postage fees will be prepaid on these ballots.

ABC7 reports Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Friday to send every registered voter in California a mail-in ballot for the November presidential election.

The election won’t be vote-by-mail only; those who still want to vote in-person will be able to do so. The governor said detailed guidelines on how in-person voting will work are forthcoming.

California is the first state in the nation to commit to sending everyone mail-in ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic, said Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

“There’s no safer, physically distancing, healthier way to exercise your right to vote than from the safety and convenience of your own home,” Padilla said.

All return postage will be prepaid.

Newsom’s comments Friday came as the state moves into Stage 2 of reopening businesses and manufacturing.

The second phase roll-out has been patchwork and confusing across the state. While some counties have had businesses reopened for days, others in the Bay Area are opting to wait longer before allowing retailers to resume operations. And all over the state, some businesses have been doing unofficial curbside pickup for weeks.

As retail starts to reopen, the governor encouraged Californians to support local business over larger chains.

“Look out for your neighborhood florist. Look out for your neighborhood business. They need your support and they haven’t gotten the kind of support they deserve. You will be determinative of whether or not they survive,” he said. “So if it means you gotta go an extra block or two, seek them out, find them, make some calls … don’t just go to that big box retailer. They’ve had a little advantage on things like this and it’s time to re-balance things.”

According to state guidelines put out by the Department of Public Health, retail businesses, such as book stores, clothing stores, toy stores and florists, can reopen for curbside pickup starting Friday. In order to do so, they are being asked to develop contactless payment procedures, have hand sanitizer available for employees and customers, ensure employees have proper protective gear, and ask employees to deliver goods to customers’ cars when possible.