OAKLAND, Calif. - This 2020 general election marks the first time every registered voter will be provided with a mail-in ballot in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
There are three ways to vote in California: by mail, early in person, or at the polls on Election Day.
Here is a complete guide with everything you need to know before casting your vote.
Your voting rights
Check to see if you're registered to vote
How to register to vote
- Register to vote online
- Pre-register to vote online (16- and 17-year-olds)
- Same-day voter registration (if registering or re-registering less than 15 days before the election)
- To have a paper application mailed to you, call (800) 345-VOTE (8683)
- Election Day: Nov. 3, 2020 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Deadline to register to vote: Oct. 19, 2020
- Early voting period: Oct. 5, 2020 - Nov. 2, 2020
Some counties offer early voting at a few locations before Election Day. Contact your county elections office to see if they offer early voting.
Voting by mail
All registered voters will receive a vote by mail ballot for this election and voters should look for their ballot to arrive after Oct. 5. That means you have nearly a month to complete your ballot and send it off.
If you haven't received your ballot by Oct. 16, contact your county's election office.
After completing your ballot, insert it in the envelope provided and sign and complete all required information. Then mail it to your county elections official. It must be postmarked on or before Election Day and your county elections office must receive it no later than 17 days after Nov. 3.
With recent concerns regarding delivery delays with the U.S. Postal Service, voters are encouraged to complete and mail ballots early for this election.
- How it works (all registered voters will be sent a vote-by-mail ballot for this election)
- Where's my ballot?
- Military and overseas voters
- Late vote-by-mail application
- Request absentee ballot
Where to drop off your ballot
- Alameda County
- San Francisco County
- San Mateo County
- Marin County
- Santa Clara County
- Contra Costa County
- Sonoma County
- Napa County
- Solano County
Polling place resources
Problems with voting or polling place
What to do if just moved to California
- Re-register (your voter registration record should always reflect your current residence)