SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Wednesday to promise in-person voting opportunities for the November election.

Newsom’s executive order gives election officials five months to prepare for in-person voting amid the pandemic.

To accommodate physical distancing, the executive order requires counties to provide: three extra days of early voting, drop boxes to be available nearly a month before the election, and at least one voting location per 10,000 people.

In preparation for possible low levels of poll workers, the executive order allows counties to use disaster service workers to support elections operations.

It also urges the private sector to consider offering in person polling or ballot drop off locations to help.

California is still set to send ballots to every registered voter for the general election, which continues to be an argument across party lines.

Lawmakers debated the move at the capitol this week.

“No one should have to risk their health and possibly their life to exercise their constitutional right to vote,” Assm. Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, said. 

“But I do have great reservations about all the ballots floating out there now,” State Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Tehama, said. 

The governor and legislature say they’ll continue to work on strategies to protect public health during voter outreach and education as election season ramps up.

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