Hello, Voter! Election Day is November 3, 2020. Have you registered? Not sure you understand vote-by-mail? Need help sharing voting information with your friends and family? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together all the most helpful links in this post so that you can SAVE it, SHARE it, and, most importantly, USE it to create a foolproof voting plan.
Are you located outside California? Check out these helpful sources:
Vote.gov | Find out how to register to vote in any state.
Weall.Vote/dst | Register to vote and/or access voter education resources through our partner, When We All Vote, a nonpartisan voter education project led by First Lady Michelle Obama.
BallotPedia.org | A nonpartisan website that allows you to enter your address (in the USA) to see everything on your local ballot. Each item (candidate, propositions, etc.) have thorough explanations that will help you make an informed decision.
Important Dates to Remember (CA)
Access the Official Voter Information Guide at https://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/ for more details.
Online: October 19
By Mail: Postmarked by October 19
In Person: November 3 (You have the right to register and cast a provisional ballot on Election Day.)
Absentee Ballot Deadlines
Request: October 27
Return by mail: Postmarked by November 3
Return in person: November 3 by 8PM
In Person: November 3 (If you are in line when the polls close at 8PM, you have the right to cast your ballot. Do not leave!)
In Person Ballot Drop-Off: November 3 by 8PM (At an official drop box or county election office.)
By Mail: Postmarked by November 3
Want to vote or drop off your ballot early? Find early voting locations here https://caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov/
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I understand what is on my ballot?
It can be overwhelming to do all the research necessary to figure out who and what to vote for, even though Google is right at your fingertips. Thankfully, there are two nonpartisan online resources that can help.
BallotPedia and Voter’s Edge both offer simple platforms for ballot research. Just type in your address to find your local ballot and you will be provided with background information and in-depth explanations of candidates, their positions, and ballot initiatives/propositions. BallotPedia works for all states, whereas Voter’s Edge is for California based voters.
How can I stay safe when voting in person?
Many people both enjoy and feel more comfortable casting their ballots in person. This year, voting in-person requires just a few extra precautions (that you’re used to already). Elections officials recommend wearing a face covering, keeping your distance, cleaning your hands frequently, and bringing your own blue or black ink pen (just in case).
Do I need ID to vote?
IF you’ve voted in California before, you don’t need to show ID. If you are a first time voter who registered by mail, and didn’t include your driver’s license number, CA ID number, or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number on your registration, you may be asked to provide ID. If you are unable to provide ID, you still have the right to cast a provisional ballot and an election official will tell you how to validate your identity.
List of acceptable forms of ID https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/hava-id-standards/
Vote-by-Mail is new to me, what should I know?
SEAL IT. Place your ballot in the provided envelope and make sure it is sealed securely.
SIGN IT. Make sure the signature on your ballot envelope matches the one on your CA driver license/state ID or the one you provided when completing your voter registration. The signatures will be compared to verify your vote.
RETURN IT. Your ballot MUST be postmarked by November 3, 2020. If you want to drop off your mail in ballot, it must be returned to a drop off location by 8PM on Election Day.
How will I know my ballot has been counted?
California has implemented a new system, BallotTrax, which will allow voters to track their vote as it is received, verified, and counted. Sign-up takes less than a minute and you can choose the notification method(s) and times you want. All you need to provide is your first name, last name, year and/or date of birth, and zip code. Visit https://california.ballottrax.net/voter/faq for more information.
I have more questions, what do I do?
You can find all the voting and election information you need using the following official resources:
CA Secretary of State Voting & Elections Website https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections
Voter Hotline (800)345-VOTE (8683)
CA Secretary of State YouTube (for visual/auditory explanations) https://www.youtube.com/user/CaliforniaSOS/videos
We hope this information helps you make a successful voting plan. Share it with your friends, family, and networks so that every eligible voter has the information they need. Remember, your vote is your voice!