Bay Area voting guide: what you need to know before November election

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

Important dates

  • 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

Voting early

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.

Where to drop off your ballot

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) 

Additional resources