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SAN DIEGO — Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Friday guaranteeing all 20.6 million registered California voters will receive mail-in ballots for the November election, an effort he said which provides an additional resource for residents amid potential COVID-19 concerns.

Newsom said the order, which was announced during his daily coronavirus news briefing, is not meant to be an exclusive substitute for in-person voting sites. He said he and Calif. Secretary of State Alex Padilla have worked for months on the plan with voters expressing concern about safely voting due to the coronavirus.

“There’s a lot of concern and anxiety around this November’s election in terms of making sure that you can conduct yourself in a safe way and to make sure your health is protected,” Newsom said.

Joining Newsom’s news conference Friday, Padilla said there’s no safer way to vote than by sending back a mail-in ballot, but he noted the state remains committed “to providing as many safe in-person opportunities to vote as possible.”

“It’s great for public health, great for voting rights, it’s gonna be great for participation,” Padilla said.

The change only is geared to November’s election. Residents can register to vote online at