No Excuses! Voting Options Make Democracy More Convenient
With less than a month to go before the November 8 election, there is still time to make sure you are registered to vote and use one of several options to cast your ballot. It couldn’t be much easier. Here are the dates and deadlines for California you need to know:
Now Through Election Day – Early Voting and Vote-by-Mail Drop Off Locations Open
Any registered voter can go to a county elections office in person to request and receive a vote-by-mail ballot starting now through Election Day. All 58 California counties have locations for you to vote early or drop off your vote-by-mail ballot.
October 24 – Deadline to Register to Vote
If you are not registered to vote in California, there’s still time – and you can do it from your own computer! Go to http://registertovote.ca.gov/ before the October 24 deadline. You’ll need your California driver’s license or state ID card number, or last 4 digits of your Social Security number to register online.
Not sure if you are currently registered to vote? Visit the Secretary of State’s Check Status of Your Voter Registration web page to find out.
November 1 – Deadline to Apply for Vote-By-Mail Ballot
If you are already registered to vote, but will be out of town or otherwise looking to avoid the polls on Election Day, you can apply for a vote-by-mail or absentee ballot until November 1.
Many people simply like the time-saving convenience of voting by mail, and any registered voter may apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. There is an application included in the sample ballot mailed sent before each election, or you can download and complete a California Vote-By-Mail Ballot Application from the Secretary of State’s website. Some counties even allow you to apply via telephone.
California active military personnel and voters residing overseas may also use the Secretary of State’s web site to fill out a voter registration application and request a special absentee ballot. These voters can choose to have their ballots mailed, faxed, or emailed, wherever they may be in the world. (Find more tips for military and overseas voters here.)
Vote-by-mail and absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than three days after Election Day. If you are not sure your vote-by-mail ballot will make it to the elections office in time, simply bring it to any polling place in your county between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
November 8 – Election Day!
You can find your polling place location on the back cover of your sample ballot, or look it up online. All polling places are open on Election Day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Whichever voting option you choose, the most important thing is to make sure you VOTE in the November 8 election. Our democracy works best when all of our voices are heard!
About Tim Crawford
Tim Crawford is Vice President, Marketing for Keenan and has served on the Board of Directors for California YMCA Youth & Government for six years. Keenan is the Presenting Sponsor of Youth & Government’s Model United Nations Summit.