California Bill Would Give Free Postage for Mail Ballots

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers are considering providing free postage for vote-by-mail ballots statewide.

A measure that cleared the Senate Thursday would require return ballot envelopes to have prepaid postage. Currently, some counties pay for return postage while others don’t.

Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara says voting should be free for every person in California. Had the measure been in place for the 2016 general election it would have cost $5.5 million. The cost would be borne by counties but they may be able to claim reimbursement from the state.

The Assembly has already approved the plan but must sign off on changes made in the Senate before the bill goes to Gov. Jerry Brown.

The bill was written by Democratic Assembly members Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher and Evan Low.