Pandemic-inspired vote-by-mail law is permanent change

Megan Mojica
Staff writer

Beginning with the early days of the pandemic in 2020, all California residents were sent mail-in ballots, allowing all state residents a COVID-safe option to participate in elections.

Assembly Bill 37, which took effect in January,  has made universal vote-by-mail permantstate law.

That means that for every election California residents will be sent a mail-in ballot and will have accessible drop-off locations.

Their votes will also be insured by a mail tracking system. And return ballot envelopes have pre-paid postage.

“It makes it easier for them to participate in their democracy,” said the new law’s author, Assembly member Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto. “And that’s what we should be doing as elected officials.”

Ciera Lundy, a junior educational studies major at the University of La Verne, said she voted by mail in the 2020 general election and liked it a lot.

“I felt like it was really easy and gave me a lot of time to get familiar with what the ballot looked like,” Lundy said. “And I was able to research at home what I was interested in, and have time to go over stuff before actually sending it in.”

Voting by mail was common in the 2020 election nationwide and actually led to higher voter turnout, said Assembly member Berman.

But for some it shifted their perspective on voting.

University of La Verne Political Science Professor Jason Neidleman said it all depends on how we view voting. “Do we view it as a right?” Neidleman asked. “Do we view it as a privilege? Do we view it as something we want people to do as easily as possible? Or are we OK with there being some barrier to entry for participating in the political process?” 

Neidleman said some opposition to universal vote-by-mail comes from Republicans who believe it contributes to voter fraud. 

This is despite all evidence to the contrary.

“They have convinced themselves that if more people vote that benefits the democrats and so they oppose bills like this that make it easier to vote,” Niedleman said.

But Assemblymember Berman said the vast majority of California voters from all political parties appreciate universal vote-by-mail. 

Berman said he thinks it increases the people’s trust in the system.

“They can really check and see OK my ballot was received by the election officials,” Berman said. “OK my ballot was processed by election officials, OK my ballot was counted by election officials.”

Berman encourages everyone to go out and vote and participate in their democracy.

Megan Mojica can be reached at

Other Stories

Megan Mojica, a junior broadcast journalism major, is a staff writer for the Campus Times.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Stories

Related articles

ASULV urges students to vote

The Associated Students of University of La Verne, the student government at the University, is holding elections for the various positions in the organization next week.

Legislation would teach high school students financial literacy

An Assembly Bill, that would require all California high school students to take a full-year course in personal finance before graduating, was introduced Feb. 15, by California State Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento. 

Legislation would ban the removal of western Joshua trees

A law to protect the Western Joshua Tree, a native desert plant, and make it illegal to import, export, sell, or remove the species without a state authorization was first introduced on February 7th by California Governor Gavin Newsom. 

Bill would ban usage of harmful chemicals

Assembly Bill 496 was introduced by California Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D – Glendale) on Feb. 7. If passed, this bill will ban the use of 26 toxic chemicals used in cosmetic products that are known to cause health and skin problems.