2020 Election FAQ: Get your questions answered to make your vote count
Do I have to request a mail-in ballot?
All registered voters in California will receive a vote-by-mail ballot for the November 3rd election, starting October 5th. As long as you are registered, you do not have to make a special request for a mail-in ballot.
When will my mail-in ballot arrive?
Keep an eye on your mailbox. Ballots will start going out on October 5th. If you don’t receive a blank ballot by October 19th,call your county board of elections because something is probably amiss.
When does my mail-in ballot need to be sent?
All ballots sent by mail must be postmarked by November 3. But election officials say, it's safer to send it in as soon as possible. You can also drop off your ballot at a secure drop box or a polling location before 8:00pm on election day.
When is the deadline to register to vote?
The deadline to register online is October 19th. But in-person polling locations will offer same-day voter registration, replacement ballots, accessible voting machines, and language assistance for anyone who needs it on electoin day. And physical distancing will be practiced to keep in-person voters safe.
How do I know if I'm registered to vote?
You can check your voter registration status on the California Secretary of State's website here.
How will I know my ballot has been recieved and counted?
All California counties are offering a new online tracker called “Where's My Ballot?” Sign up to see the status of your vote-by-mail ballot and get updates by email, text,or phone. The county will contact you if there's a problem.
What if I miss the registraton deadline and don't get a mail-in ballot?
If you miss the online registration deadline, or haven't recieved a ballot in your mailbox by October 19th, don't worry. You can still register in-person for a provisional ballot at any polling location on election day. Elections officials check every provisional ballot to make sure you didn't already vote. And because of those extra checks, provisional ballots are usually counted after election day - but they are always counted.
Will my mail-in ballot still be counted if it arrives after election day?
Make sure your vote-by-mail ballot is postmarked by election day, November 3rd. County election officials will still count ballots that arrive up to 17 days after that, but only if they are postmarked with that November 3rd date.
What if I'm not 18 years old before the registration deadline, but I will be old enough to vote by election day?
If you aren't 18 yet, but will by on election day, you can pre-register to vote on the California Secretary of State's website. Anyone who is 16 or 17 years old is eligible to pre-register online.
Do I have to sign my ballot?
When you send in a mail-in ballot, make sure you seal and sign the return envelope with the same signature that you have on your registration card. Elections officials use your signature to verify the ballot. If the signatures don’t match, they'll contact you to tell you there's a problem. But election officials say it's better to be safe than sorry. In the March primaries, officials tossed out 15,000 ballots because of non-matching signatures.
Should I still show up to the polls in person if I already sent my mail-in ballot?
If you've mailed in your ballot for the election on November 3rd, election officials say DO NOT show up in person to cast a second vote. In California, casting two ballots could land you in county jail for a month. If you’re worried about your mail-in ballot getting lost or discarded, use the state’s ballot tracking tool.
Find everything you need to know about the 2020 Election at KTVU's online election center.