The ease of mail-in voting may increase turnout in California’s recall election.

by 24USATVSept. 8, 2021, 5 p.m. 18
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A temporary change in California’s election rules aimed at protecting voters during the coronavirus pandemic could be instrumental in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s effort to beat back a proposed recall — and could become permanent if the governor signs a bill that state lawmakers passed last week.

Voting by mail has emerged as a critical factor in the Republican-led recall, which political experts say will probably hinge on whether Mr. Newsom, a Democrat, can turn out the state’s enormous base of liberal voters before the polls close on Sept. 14.

Because of the coronavirus, lawmakers ensured that ballots would automatically be mailed to every registered, active voter, turning an already popular option into the default through at least the end of this year.

As a result, political experts tracking returns in the recall are predicting that at least 50 percent of registered voters will cast ballots, roughly double the turnout that would be expected in a special election. Paul Mitchell, a vice president at Political Data Inc., a Sacramento-based supplier of election data, said more than a quarter of the electorate had already voted.

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