California will join eight states and Washington D.C. in the decision to mail all registered voters their ballots ahead of the 2020 election.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB-860 in June, which will send vote-by-mail ballots to all registered voters and allow them to skip the lines this November 3.
According to the bill, “vote by mail voting has become the means by which most Californians exercise their right to vote.” In the 2018 statewide election, 65.31% of voters used a mail-in ballot compared to 48.44% in 2010.
The decision to mail ballots was made so voters don’t have to wait in line at the polls and limit the spread of COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, 16 states had to postpone their primary elections, including Wisconsin, where voters had no choice but to wait in line and polling locations were reduced by more than 97%.
You may return your ballot by:
Complete all the required information in your ballot and mail it back in the envelope provided. All mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3.
2. Returning at a Polling Place
You may also personally deliver your ballot to a polling location. Ballots must be delivered before polls close at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
3. Dropping off in a county dropbox
County drop boxes will be available to drop off your ballot without waiting in a line. Ballots being turned in at a dropbox must be delivered before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Dropbox locations can be found at https://caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov
AB-860 also states that county officials must accept all ballots that are received 17 days after Election Day as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3. This of course doesn’t mean that voters should wait until the last minute.
The new bill doesn’t mean that voting in person at your local polling location won’t be an option this November. In-person voting will still be available for those who may require assistance or have a preference.
With tens of millions expected to cast their votes by mail, ballots being rejected is a looming fear this November.
According to an article from NPR, a few mistakes voters can make are, “incorrectly choosing too many candidates or incorrectly circling a candidate’s name instead of filling in the bubble next to it.”
Voters are encouraged to thoroughly read the instructions included in their mail-in ballots and return their completed ballots as early as possible.
The last day to register to vote online and ensure you receive a mail-in ballot is Oct. 19. In person registration at your polling place will still be available on Nov 3
You can check your voter registration status or register to vote at https://vote.gov.