How to Mark Your Vote by Mail Ballot

How to Vote Your Ballot:

  • To vote, completely fill in the oval to the right of your choice. 
  • You may also use a BLUE or BLACK colored marker or ink pen to mark your ballot.

    The use of a Sharpie pen will not void your ballot. The voting system works well with a Sharpie type of marker and is the recommended type of ballot marking pen you should use to mark your ballot as the ink dries fast and is easily detected by the ballot tabulators. The system reads only one side of the ballot at a time and the ovals used to mark your choices do NOT align with the ovals on the other side of the ballot card. If pen bleed-through does occur, it will not affect the contests on the other side.
  • DO NOT sign or initial your official ballot.
  • DO NOT use red ink.
  • DO NOT vote for more candidates than the number indicated for each contest.
  • Write-In Voting: To vote for a qualified write-in candidate, write the person's name in the wite-in space and fill in the oval. Do not write in a name that’s already printed on the ballot.
  • If you make a mistake and need a new ballot, call (408) 299-VOTE [8683] or toll free (866) 430-VOTE [8683]. You can also use the Remote Accessible Vote by Mail System (RAVBM) to download a copy of the ballot that can be printed and returned by mail.

Fill In Ballot


Write in Ballot

How to Complete Your Return Envelope:

  • Refold the ballot and place it into the return envelope.
  • Sign your name by the red "X", print your address and the date on the back of the return envelope.​
  • Your signature must match the signature on your voter registration card.
  • If you are unable to sign your name on the return envelope:
    • Personally make an "X" or distinguishing mark by the red "X" on the return envelope.
    • Have someone print your name on the return envelope and sign as a witness.

If your signature is missing or does not match your voter registration card, your ballot cannot be counted. Click here for more information​.

Ballot Signature Example

Your voted ballot must be received by the Registrar of Voters by 8 p.m. on Election Day OR must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received within ​7 days of the election. Deliver or mail your ballot early, so it can be in the first Election Night Results!

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