SACRAMENTO, CA February 25, 2019 – 2019 is the first year that all California vote-by-mail ballots will come with prepaid postage return envelopes and Secretary of State Alex Padilla is announcing a new social media campaign to educate voters about this change. Today also marks the beginning of vote-by-mail ballots being sent to voters for the March 26, 2019 Special Primary Elections in Senate Districts 1 and 33 — these are the first state elections to occur under the new prepaid postage return envelope law.
“In California, it’s now ‘No Stamp, No Problem’ for vote-by-mail voters,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “Once you’ve filled out your vote-by-mail ballot, simply place it in the return envelope, seal the envelope, sign on the designated line, and place it into the mail box. For over a decade, Californians have been increasingly choosing to vote-by-mail. Providing prepaid postage on all vote-by-mail return envelopes makes this option even more convenient for voters. It’s another way we can make it easier to participate in our democracy.”
In the November 2018 General Election, 65.3% of votes were cast on vote-by-mail ballots. This was the eighth straight statewide election in which a majority of votes cast were on vote-by-mail ballots.
AB 216 (2018), authored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, amended the California Elections Code to require that all vote-by-mail ballot return envelopes have prepaid postage. The bill became effective January 1, 2019.
Starting today, vote-by-mail ballots will be sent out for the March 26, 2019 Special Primary Elections in Senate Districts 1 and 33. These special elections were triggered when Senator Ted Gaines resigned his Senate District 1 seat after winning election to the California Board of Equalization and Ricardo Lara resigned his Senate District 33 seat after being elected California Insurance Commissioner. Senate District 1 encompasses all of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, and Siskiyou counties and portions of Sacramento and Placer counties. Senate District 33 is wholly contained in Los Angeles County.