California Governor’s Mail-In Ballot Plan Put on Hold by Judge

(Bloomberg) -- A California state judge has tapped the brakes on Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to send mail-in ballots to all 20 million registered voters in the state.

Acting on the request of a Republican state legislator, Sutter County Superior Court Judge Perry Parker halted the governor’s plan to encourage mail-in voting during the covid pandemic.

In a two-page order, the judge said he was suspending the executive order as “an impermissible use of legislative powers in violation of the California Constitution and laws.” He set a hearing to hear the governor’s justifications for June 26.

By then the issue may be moot. The Democratic-controlled California State Legislature is advancing a bill to authorize the mail-out ballots. The state Senate approved the bill Thursday and it has wide support in the House.

Some states have tried to encourage mail-in voting as a way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at polling places. But Republicans, especially President Donald Trump, have claimed -- without evidence -- that mail-in voting encourages voter fraud.

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