“California’s First Absentee Ballots”

I just finished reading the article “California’s First Absentee Ballots” by Sebastian Nelson in the latest edition of California Originals (the Quarterly Newsletter of the California State Archives).

As the Civil War raged in 1863, thousands of California soldiers were stationed through-out the United States. To ensure the right to vote for these soldiers, Governor Leland Stanford signed An Act in addition to an Act to Regulate Elections, approved March twenty-third, eighteen hundred and fifty, and all Acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto (Chapter 355, Statutes of 1863). This law required that all votes cast by California soldiers serving on election day “be sealed up by the commanding officer, and be by him forthwith transmitted, by mail or otherwise, to the Secretary of State at Sacramento.” Today these elections records are in the California State Archives.

I recommend reading it, especially because it makes you appreciate how much less awkward bill titles are these days; “An Act in addition to an Act to Regulate Elections, approved March twenty-third, eighteen hundred and fifty, and all Acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto” isn’t easy to say at all.