Analysis

New Law Allows More Time to Return Mail Ballots in California

Under a recently passed law, Californians who vote by mail will have more time to return their ballots, beginning in 2015. Currently, election officials must receive mail ballots no later than Election Day. The new law requires that ballots be postmarked by Election Day and received no more than three days later. 

Mail voting has become more popular in California in recent years, but research shows high rejection rates of these ballots in the state: 1 percent of mail ballots in the 2012 general election and almost 3 percent in the 2014 primary. The most common reason for rejection is that the ballot was received too late. Some counties have evidence that this problem is even more pronounced in small precincts where all ballots are cast by mail. 

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