U.S.|What to Know About Voting by Mail in California
Election Day is less than 40 days away, and if you are a registered voter in California, a mail-in ballot will be coming your way soon.
California is one of nine states automatically mailing ballots to registered voters this year, and mail-in ballots have been widely used in the state, even before the coronavirus pandemic. In the presidential primary in March, 3 out of 4 Californians received their ballots in the mail.
Here’s what you need to know about voting by mail in the coming election.
When will I receive my mail-in ballot?
County elections officials will begin sending ballots to the state’s 21 million registered voters no later than Oct. 5. If you are an active registered voter, you do not need to request a mail-in ballot for this election.
However, if you have moved or sat out the last few elections, it’s important to check your voter status to ensure you will automatically receive a ballot in the mail.
This year, as the Postal Service grapples with unusual postal delays, worries over ballot deliveries abound.
Voters will be able to track the status of their mail-in ballots using the “Where’s My Ballot?” tool. Notifications are sent when a ballot has been mailed to a voter’s address, when a cast ballot has arrived at the county official’s office and when it has been counted.
Is it too late to register to vote?
No, you have until Oct. 19 to register online, which is recommended if you want to avoid going to an elections office or polling place on Election Day.
You can also register to vote by mailing in an application, which must be postmarked by Oct. 19.
If you miss the Oct. 19 deadline, however, California allows residents to register and vote through Same Day Voter Registration available from Oct. 20 through Election Day. You will need to visit a polling place or county elections office to complete registration this way.
When will I receive an official Voter Guide?
You can peruse the online Voter Guide before a printed one comes in the mail sometime ahead of the general election.