Know Your Rights: Voting During the COVID-19 Pandemic

I usually vote at my local polling place, but this year I don’t feel safe. Do I have to request an absentee or vote-by-mail ballot?

No. Due to the pandemic, every registered voter in California will be mailed a vote-by-mail ballot, even if they have never applied for a vote-by-mail ballot.

Do I have to mail my completed ballot back?

No. You can also return your ballot by:

  1. Returning it in-person to a polling place, vote center, or your county elections office. Vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
  2. Dropping your ballot into one of your county’s ballot drop boxes. Vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered to a ballot drop-off location must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
  3. Authorizing someone to return the ballot on your behalf. Anyone may return your ballot for you if they do not get paid on a per ballot basis. For your ballot to be counted, you must fill out the authorization section found on the outside of your ballot envelope.

If you mail your ballotplease know that vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day.

Am I required to vote by mail this year?

No. You will also have the option to vote in person at a polling place, vote center, or county elections office. Specific locations to vote will be printed on your sample ballot and available on your county elections office website.

Looking for more updates about the 2020 General Election? Check out the California Secretary of State resources.