Is the West Coast the best coast? Look in your mailbox for the answer.
On Friday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order mandating all ballots be mailed to registered voters for the November general election. Newsom said the decision to mandate vote by mail was made to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Elections and the right to vote are foundational to our democracy," Newsom said in a press release May 8. "No Californian should be forced to risk their health in order to exercise their right to vote."
Twenty years ago, Oregon became the first all vote-by-mail state in the nation. Since then, others have followed suit, including Washington state and Hawaii.
As we wrote in our endorsement issue April 29, Oregon's well-oiled vote-by-mail machine has come in particularly handy at a time when voters can't be reasonably expected to wait in lines and endure crowds to cast their ballots:
Vote by mail placed a premium on enfranchising all voters—and now that everyone has trouble leaving the house, that decision looks pretty damn good. The right priorities don’t just endure a disaster. They become a source of strength.