The official ballot for the California Gubernatorial Recall Election, to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, which will be held on September 14, 2021. (Ray Saint Germain/Bay City News)

Contra Costa County is encouraging residents to vote by mail in the September recall election to minimize the risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19.

More residents voting from home will allow those residents who require in-person voting services to vote in a faster and safer environment, according to Clerk-Recorder-Registrar Deborah Cooper.

Voters who do choose to cast ballots in person will be required to socially distance and wear masks.

Voting equipment will be sanitized regularly, the county said, and sanitizer will be available at all locations for voters to use.

“Voting by mail protects voters, poll workers and our volunteers by limiting personal contact,” Cooper said in a statement. “In-person voting locations will follow health protocols, which may cause delays and lines due to social distancing. The easiest and fastest way to vote for this election is to cast the ballot that we send to you by mail or into one of our official ballot boxes located throughout the County.”

As part of its effort to encourage safe voting, the county is sending every resident a mail-in ballot with pre-paid first-class return postage. To have their vote counted, residents must return or mail their mail-in ballot by Sept. 14.

A list of ballot boxes and other county election information is available at