2020 Voter Information
Can I vote?
- To register in California you must:
- Be a United States citizen, be a resident of California
- be at least 18 years old or older on Election Day,
- not be currently in state or federal prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony,
- not be currently found to be mentally incompetent to vote by a court.
- *find more information on voting rights restoration here
- If you’ve voted in California before, you don’t need to show ID.
- If you’re a first-time voter who registered by mail, and didn’t include your driver’s license number, California ID number, or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number on your registration, you may be asked to provide ID when you vote. Acceptable forms include: copy of a recent utility bill, the sample ballot booklet you received from your county elections office or another document sent to you by a government agency, a US passport, driver license, official state identification card, or student identification card showing your name and photograph.
Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote a provisional ballot.
Election Dates and Deadlines to Register to Vote
- In order to vote in the November 3, 2020, Presidential Primary Election you must be registered to vote by October 19, 2020.
- We want to encourage all eligible Californians to register to vote and cast a ballot. The California Secretary of State’s Office makes it easy to register online at RegisterToVote.ca.gov which is available in 10 languages.
- Contact your local county elections office or simply register online to ensure your county has your most up-to-date information.
- Register. You can register to vote online at RegisterToVote.ca.gov by October 19, 2020.
- The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (postmarked by) Monday, October 19, 2020.
- Get informed! As a registered voter you will receive two information resources in the mail: the state Voter Information Guide and the county Voter Information Guide.
- Vote! You can vote in person or by mail. Find out more at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/vote-mail.
- You must re-register to vote if you: Have moved to a different home address, Changed your name, or wish to update your political party preference
- The deadline to register in person to vote is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Conditional voter registration is a safety net for Californians who miss the deadline to register to vote or update their voter registration information. Voters can use the conditional voter registration process from the day after the deadline all the way through Election Day. Eligible citizens can go to their county election office, polling place, or vote center to register and vote conditionally. These ballots will be processed once the county elections office has completed the voter registration verification process.
- All registered voters will automatically be mailed a vote-by-mail ballot for the November 3, 2020, General Election.
- The early voting period runs from Monday, October 5, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
- You can also register and vote on Election Day.
The Secretary of State’s office recommends that military and overseas voters start early and get registered to vote online at RegisterToVote.ca.gov to ensure they receive their voting materials on time. This includes persons and students who are temporarily living outside of California but still wish to vote in California elections. For more information visit: www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/military-overseas-voters
Polling Place General Information
- Your polling place location may change between elections. Check the back of your county Voter Information Guide for the location of your polling place. You can also find your polling place by calling your county elections office or the Secretary of State’s Voter Hotline at (800) 345-8683, or visit www.sos.ca.gov/elections/polling-place. You can also text VOTE to GoVote (468-683) to find your polling place.
- All registered voters in California will receive a ballot by mail. However, in-person voting locations will be available to voters. Polling locations may be found online by visiting the Secretary of State’s My Voter Status tool.
- Polls are open in California from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. At your polling place, you will check in with a poll worker and they will explain the process of casting your ballot. The poll worker will give you a paper ballot, unique passcode, or computer memory card, depending on the voting system your county uses. If you are not familiar with how to mark a ballot or make a mistake on your ballot, ask a poll worker for instructions.
- California law allows for workers to take time off with pay to cast their ballot on Election Day if they do not have sufficient time outside of their normal working hours. Check out www.sos.ca.gov/elections/time-vote-notices for more information.
Vote by Mail
Vote by mail
All registered voters will be sent a vote-by-mail ballot for the November 3, 2020 General Election. Registered voters do not have to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot for this election.
- Any registered voter can vote by mail in California. Fill out the vote-by-mail ballot application in your county Voter Information Guide, find one at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/vote-mail, or contact your county elections office. Your completed application must arrive at your county elections office at least seven days before Election Day.
- The Secretary of State’s office recommends that those temporarily living outside of California who still wish to vote in California elections start early and get registered to vote online at RegisterToVote.ca.gov. Those already registered to vote can apply to vote by mail at a temporary address.
- To ensure your voted ballot is delivered by the deadline, your voted ballot must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 17 days after Election Day. You may also deliver your voted ballot to your county elections office or any polling place in your county before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
- Use this link to for official vote by mail ballot boxes https://caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov/, or below are the specific locations for Santa Cruz and Monterey County:
- Santa Cruz County: https://www.votescount.us/Home/UpcomingElections/November3,2020Election/Ballotdropboxes1120.aspx
- Monterey County: https://caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov/
- Fill out your ballot
- After you have voted, insert your ballot in the envelope provided, making sure you complete all required information on the envelope.
- You may return your voted ballot by mail, in person, or to a drop box
- If you are returning your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 17 days after Election Day.
- If you are returning your ballot in person or dropping it in a drop box, it must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on November 3rd.
- Anyone may return your ballot for you, as long as they do not get paid on a per ballot basis. In order for your ballot to be counted, you must fill out the authorization section found on the outside of your ballot envelope.
Election contact information for California
1500 11th Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
- Text Vote to GoVote (468-683) to find your polling place. Make your voice heard today! #VoteCalifornia
- Get out and vote today! Text VOTE to GOVOTE (468-683) to find your polling place #VoteCalifornia
- Looking for something cool today? Participate in democracy and vote! Text VOTE to GOVOTE (468-683) for your polling place #VoteCalifornia