More than 10 million voters have cast their ballots in California, nearly 2.5 million of them doing so in the nine Bay Area counties — even before Election Day 2020.
Everybody’s doing it. Have you?
There’s still time. With only one day left until the Nov. 3 election, the only thing voters can no longer do is register online. But they can still register at polling places and designated vote centers. It’s called Same Day Voter Registration, and California residents can do it at the same time as voting.
Find your polling place here, or on the back of the voter information guide sent to all registered California voters.
Here are some answers for those with last-minute voting questions:
Q: What if I don’t know whether I’m registered?
A: Go to voterstatus.sos.ca.gov.
Q: Can I still mail my ballot?
A: The state says ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3. So can vote by mail, but it’s best to drop it off or put on a mask and vote in person on Tuesday. If it helps, know that the United States Postal Service recommended mailing it a week before the election. However, if you still need to mail it, just know it doesn’t count unless it’s processed.
Q: Where do you drop it off?
A: That depends on your county elections office, which can be found here. Or use our handy location map on the LocalNewsMatters Voter Information Hub to find the place nearest you.
Q: What if I messed up my ballot?
A: The answer varies by county, so should contact your county elections office. Some will allow you to cross out the mistake and mark the correct area if you make your intentions known. Go here to find your nearest office or click on the relevant county button on the Voter Information Hub to find your local elections office.
Q: What if I’m afraid my signature won’t be accepted?
A: Ideally, your signature will match the one recorded when you last registered to vote. A good rule is to match it to your driver’s license, which is also issued through a state agency. When you registered to vote, your latest DMV signature will be what it’s compared to if there are questions. California doesn’t typically check for exact matches unless there’s an issue.
Q: How will I know my vote counts?
A: You can check at california.ballottrax.net. The good news is, three days before the election, the state of California is reporting more than 99 percent of the more than 10 million votes it has received so far have been accepted.
Q: Will I have to wear a mask to vote in person?
A: No. Even with COVID-19 restrictions in place, the state isn’t making wearing a mask a requirement. However, a poll worker may ask you to vote in a separate area with increased physical distance from other voters. Wearing a mask makes it easier and safer for everyone.
Q: When will I know the results?
A: That could be tricky. The polls close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. With millions of mail-in votes to be counted, in could be weeks for final returns to be counted and certified. In California, mail-in votes are accepted up to 17 days after an election, provided the ballots are postmarked by Election Day. In California, elections are supposed to be certified by Dec. 3.
Another list of frequently asked question and answers about elections in California is available https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/frequently-asked-questions.