If you voted by mail before, your voting process will be mostly the same under the Voter’s Choice Act. However, there are a few minor changes that will make it even easier to cast your ballot.
Now all voters will automatically receive a Vote by Mail (VBM) ballot. You do not need to submit a VBM request. Ballots will be mailed about a month before each election, giving you plenty of time to mark and return your ballot when it is most convenient for you.
How Do I Return My Ballot?
You have many options to return your ballot. Ballots must be returned before the close of Election Day.
- By Mail: You can return your ballot by mail. No postage is required if you use the provided return envelope. Ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day, and received by the Registrar of Voters within three days after the election.
- At a Vote Center: Vote Centers will be open up to 3 days before the election. You can return your completed ballot at any Vote Center in the County. A list of Vote Centers will be published before each election.
- At a Ballot Drop Box: Ballots may be returned at any ballot drop box in the county starting 29 days before the election. Ballot drop boxes are secure, locked containers be placed in convenient, accessible locations. A list of ballot drop boxes will be published before each election.
What If I Need a Replacement Ballot?
There are many reasons why you might need a replacement ballot. For example, you might have lost your ballot or made a mistake when marking it. You can also request a replacement ballot if you need to change your address or update your voter registration information.
There are two ways to obtain a replacement ballot:
- By Mail: You can request a new ballot to be mailed to you. Call the Registrar of Voters toll-free at 866-430-VOTE (8683) or email [email protected]. Your request must be received at least seven days before the election. After then, replacement ballots are only available in-person.
- In-Person: You can pick up a replacement ballot in person at the Registrar of Voters’ Office or at any Vote Center in the County.
If you receive and vote a replacement ballot, your other ballots will automatically be void. Please destroy and discard your unused ballots. Only one ballot will be accepted per voter per election.
What If I Don’t Want to Vote by Mail?
If you do not want to vote using the Vote by Mail ballot, you can go to a Vote Center to vote in person. If you vote at a Vote Center, your Vote by Mail ballot will be void. You can bring it to surrender at the Vote Center or destroy it and throw it away.
Remote Accessible Vote by Mail System (RAVBM)
The RAVBM system will be available starting 29 days before the election. Your voted ballot MUST be returned by 8 p.m. on Election Day OR postmarked on or before election day and received no later than 7 days after Election Day.
Are There Options to Vote by Mail That are Accessible to Individuals with Disabilities?
Yes, voters with disabilities may use the Remote Accessible Vote by Mail System to access and vote their ballots independently and privately. Instead of using a paper Vote by Mail ballot, you can access an electronic version of your ballot, which can be marked using your own assistive technology at home. When you are done, you must print your ballot and it can be returned in your original blue Vote by Mail envelope with your signature to the Registrar of Voters for your ballot to be counted. To preserve your privacy and security, your ballot selections are not transmitted electronically through the Internet.
Is the Remote Accessible Vote by Mail System available to Military and Overseas Voters?
Yes, Military or Overseas may use the Remote Accessible Vote by Mail System to access and vote their ballots independently and privately. Instead of using a paper Vote by Mail ballot, you can access an electronic version of your ballot. When you are done, you must print your ballot and it can be returned in your original Vote by Mail envelope with your signature to the Registrar of Voters for your ballot to be counted. To preserve your privacy and security, your ballot selections are not transmitted electronically through the Internet.
Is the Remote Accessible Vote by Mail System available to All Registered Voters?
Yes. California law permits all registered voters to use the RAVBM system for the September 14, 2021, California Gubernatorial Recall Election, regardless of whether the voter is a voter with disabilities or a military or overseas voter.
Requesting an RAVBM
A voter can contact a county elections official directly to request access to an RAVBM system. Additionally, for voters requesting the delivery of an Emergency Ballot pursuant to Elections Code section 3021, RAVBM access can also be provided as a form of delivery of the ballot by the elections official.
For more information, please visit our RAVBM FAQs (PDF).