Local News Matters weekly newsletter

Start your week with a little inspiration. Sign up for our informative, community-based newsletter, delivered on Mondays with news about the Bay Area.

The waiting is nearly over. California’s polls open for in-person voting at 7 a.m.

Find your polling place here, or on the back of the voter information guide sent to all registered California voters.

Though online registration is no longer available, you can still vote on Election Day if you’re not registered. It’s called Same Day Voter Registration, and California voters can do so at the same time they go to their polling place.

If you don’t know whether you’re registered, you can check here.

More Election Coverage:

Track the polls, campaign funding, and national trends with the “Digging Into the Details” section of our Voter Information Hub.

Do not mail your ballot on Election Day. Technically, it must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and arrive within the 17 days following the election. But mailing a ballot on Election Day means giving your vote a good chance of not counting. The United States Postal Service recommended mailing it a week before the election.

You can still drop off ballots at designated drop boxes. They can be found at your county’s elections office website. Find it here. Or use our handy location map on the LocalNewsMatters Voter Information Hub to find the place nearest you.

If you mess up your ballot, 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 use our voter hub.

And your signature should 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.

You can track your ballot here.

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.

The polls close at 8 p.m. With millions of mail-in votes to be counted, it could be weeks for final returns to be counted and certified. 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 here.