• Mon Oct 19, 2020 - Deadline to Register to Vote Online
• Mon Oct 19, 2020 - Deadline for Mail-In Registration Postmarked
• Tue Oct 20, 2020 - Registration Begins
• Tue Oct 27, 2020 - Deadline to Request an Absentee Ballot (Received)
• Tue Nov 3, 2020 8:00PM PST - Deadline to Return Completed Absentee Ballot (Hand Delivered)
• Tue Nov 3, 2020 - General Election Day
Data provided by U.S. Vote Foundation
HOW TO VOTE
No excuse is needed to vote by mail in California.
California counties that have decided to adopt the California Voterʼs Choice Act use a vote-by-mail system for all elections, meaning that every registered receives a ballot in the mail 28 days before Election Day. As of 2020, these counties are: Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sacramento, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Tuolumne.
WHAT'S ON THE BALLOT?
The DA decides which criminal cases to prosecute and guides sentencing. The DA reviews complaints against police officers and decides whether or not to prosecute them. This person can have an enormous impact on your life.
The sheriff runs the county jails, and is also in charge of enforcing the law throughout the county, just like a chief of police. Deputies arrest and detain suspects and patrol the county.
Your representative makes important decisions about the future of your neighborhood, including how to spend local tax dollars. They distribute funds for road repair, parks, and development, and oversee police.
Your governor signs bills into law (and can veto bills as well). They make important appointments to state agencies, including the stateʼs school superintendent, and can grant commutations and pardons to prisoners.
School board members hire/fire the superintendent (who sets overall district policies, including disciplinary rules), set the budget, approve contracts for teachers, and decide where to open or close schools.
Members of Congress and the Senate write laws—any of which can have a profound impact on you. Your representatives can help if youʼre experiencing a problem with a federal agency, like the IRS, Social Security, or veterans issues.
Judges have enormous authority over our lives by interpreting the law, deciding what evidence is heard in a case, and deciding how long to sentence someone convicted of a crime. Since so few vote for judges, those who do have a lot of clout.
The president is Commander in Chief of the armed forces and plays a huge role in shaping responses to international crises. They symbolize the goals and beliefs of the country and make sure the government does its job.
Initiatives can have a dramatic impact on our lives. Citizens or the state legislature can put a measure on the ballot for people to vote on. If theyʼre passed, they become law. They can change the tax system or the criminal justice system, for instance, including upholding or ending the death penalty or sentencing guidelines. Bonds ask voters to decide how public money will be spent and can have a positive or negative impact on your community.
A: To register to vote in California, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be a resident of California
- Be at least 18 years old, or turning 18 by the election
- Not have been declared “non-compos mentis” or “mentally incompetent” by a court of law
- Not currently in state or federal prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony
You must register to vote at least 15 days before the election you wish to vote in, or you can register during the early voting period or on Election Day (see more under “Election Day Registration”).
A: Find information on the state of California's voter registration page.
A: Any registered California voter may apply for an absentee ballot and vote by mail. California will be mailing a ballot to every registered voter for the November election. However, California is not an exclusively vote-by-mail state, so confirm your registration and address to make sure your ballot goes to the right place.
If you need your ballot sent to an alternate address for the general election, you must submit your request by October 27 and return it by November 3. You can get request your ballot below.
A: Yes! California counties that have decided to adopt the California Voterʼs Choice Act use a vote-by-mail system for all elections, meaning that every registered receives a ballot in the mail 28 days before Election Day. As of 2020, these counties are: Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sacramento, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Tuolumne.
Confirm your registration and vote by mail address to make sure your ballot goes to the right place.
The changes do not remove the option to cast a ballot in person. If your address has changed or you have moved, you must request your ballot by October 27 and return it by November 3. You can get your absentee ballot below.
A: Yes! Dates vary by location, so contact your local election office.
A: ID is not required to vote in California, with the exception of federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requirements for first-time voters.
A: Learn more from Overseas Vote Foundation about overseas & military voting.
A: If you have a past conviction, learn more about your eligibility to vote from Restore Your Vote.
America is facing a record shortage of poll workers this year due to the coronavirus.
Most poll workers are over the age of 60 and, in the era of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, fewer are signing up for the job (source). Our democracy depends on ordinary people who make sure elections run smoothly and everyone's vote is counted. You can make sure we have a safe, fair, efficient election for all.