California

About This State

California! Back in the day, people searched your state for gold. Now, they search for a place with oat milk (which is just as expensive.) But California has a lot going for it. So all you shiny, happy people running on beaches better be exercising YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE this year. Here’s everything you need to know in the Golden State.

Register To Vote

UPDATE

California will be mailing a ballot to every registered voter for the November election. The changes do not remove the option to cast a ballot in person.

If you have any problem voting, or witness any voter suppression or intimidation, call: 1-877-321-8683

California Election Updates

Road to Win

Electoral College Votes

55

Delegates for the DNC

415

Learn More

MAKE A PLAN

Whether you’re voting by mail or in person, what’s important is making a plan to do it as early as possible.

Key Dates

Oct 20 – Nov 3

Conditional Voter Registration Period

Oct 5 – Nov 2

Early Voting (Exact Dates Vary by County)

Nov 3

General Election

What to know before you vote

  • How do I make sure I'm registered?

    Registered before? Double-check your registration to make sure your registration is still valid.

    Verify Your Registration
  • Can I register the same day I want to vote?

    California does offer same-day, in-person voter registration on November 3.

    Learn More

Cast Your Mail Ballot

  • Can I still vote by mail?

    We’re past the recommended deadline from USPS for voters to send back their ballots to ensure they are delivered by Election Day. If you still have your mail ballot, drop it off in person. Find out where you can drop it off below.

  • How do I return my ballot and how do I make sure it’s counted?

    We’re past the recommended deadline from USPS for voters to send back their ballots to ensure they are delivered by Election Day. If you still have your mail ballot, drop it off in person. Learn about alternative return options below.

    When filling out your ballot, make sure to double-check the instructions to make sure you fill out the ballot correctly--check to see if your ballot requires using a pen with black or blue ink, a signature on the envelope, and any other necessary requirements.

  • Does my state require my ballot to be postmarked or delivered by Election Day?

    California allows vote by mail ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day to be counted.

  • What are my non-mail ballot return options?

    There are a lot! You can:

    1. Return it in-person to a polling place or the office of your county elections official. 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. Drop 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. Authorize someone to return the ballot on your behalf.
    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.

  • Can I track my ballot?

    Yes, you can track your ballot here:

    Track Your Ballot

Vote by Mail: What If?

  • What if I request a vote by mail ballot but I decide I want to vote in person instead?

    If you get a vote-by-mail ballot, you can change your mind and vote at a polling place on Election Day. You can mark your ballot and seal it inside the mailing envelope provided by your county elections official. Sign and date the outside of the envelope in the space provided and bring the sealed envelope to any polling place in your county, or to your county elections office between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, or you can bring your unused vote-by-mail ballot to your local polling place anytime between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day and give it to a poll worker, who will exchange it for a polling place ballot you can use instead.

    If you don't bring your vote-by-mail ballot, a poll worker will give you with a provisional ballot which will be counted it is confirmed you are registered & did not return your mail ballot.

    California Voting In Person
  • What if I still haven't received my ballot?

    If you’ve requested your ballot, but you still haven’t received it at least 14 days before the election, use the ballot tracking site to find the status of your ballot. If the ballot arrives before Election Day, you can drop it off at a dropbox, a county elections office, or your local polling place. If you still don’t receive it before Election Day, you can cast a provisional ballot at your polling place. Do not mail a ballot and also vote in person.

    The earlier that you request your ballot, the less of a chance you won’t receive it in time. Learn more about provisional ballots here:

    Provisional Voting

Voting In-Person

  • Can I vote early in person?

    If you decide to vote in person, early voting is the safest option--lines will be shorter and allow for easier social distancing. California allows in-person voting. Dates vary by county, so find out where and when you can vote early here.

    California Early Voting
  • What if I want to vote in-person on Election Day?

    If you are voting on Election Day, wear a mask and keep an appropriate social distance from fellow voters. If you are in line before polls close, do not leave. You legally must be permitted to vote. If you witness any incidents of voter suppression, contact 1-833-DEM-VOTE (1-833-336-8683). Find your polling place options here:

    Polling Place Locations
  • Do I need an ID to vote in person?

    You do not need to show ID when you vote in person, unless it is your first time voting in a federal election in California. A federal election is when you vote for the President, your Congressional Representative or your Senators.

    Learn about acceptable forms of identification, check for updates and learn more about your state's voter ID laws here:

    California VoteRiders
  • How do I find out where to go to vote?

    Our Make a Plan tool has up-to-date information on your voting locations (and ballot drop locations).

    Make a Plan

WHAT’S ON MY BALLOT?

Use our voter guide to see who and what will be on the ballot when you vote. States are finalizing who and what are on your ballot this year. You can use this tool to check and see if your ballot is available. Your full ballot will be available by October 8.

Races To Watch

  • House

Resources

  • If you run into any issues while voting, call 1-833-DEM-VOTE (1-833-336-8683), a voter hotline is monitored 24/7/365 with voting experts who are ready to field questions pertaining to felon disenfranchisement, voter purging, poll worker misconduct, voter machines, accessibility, and more.

    Learn More
  • Need to show Voter ID? Not sure what kind? Get the specifics in your state here.

    Learn More
  • The California Proposition Guide from Brain Trust Live reviews endorsements from papers and organizations that are generally aligned with our values, but we also consult many that aren’t. Either way, we always recommend looking beyond the official ballot guide.

    Learn More
  • The Courage California Voter Guide helps Californians evaluate candidates and ballot measures from a progressive perspective so individuals can make informed decisions at the ballot box. Courage California combines the endorsements of our state’s leading progressive organizations with our expert knowledge and research about candidates and ballot measures to give you trusted recommendations on hundreds […]

    Learn More