May 3, 2012
Contact: Shannan Velayas
SACRAMENTO - While Election Day isn't until June 5, millions of Californians who opt for the convenience of voting by mail can begin casting their ballots as early as Monday.
"When your mailbox is your polling place you can vote any time in the comfort of your own home," said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, the state's chief elections officer. "With so many voters choosing to vote by mail, Election Day is more like election month. However, no matter how you vote, make sure your county elections office receives your ballot by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day because postmarks don't count."
Any California voter may vote by mail. The last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot is May 29. A registered voter may request a ballot by using the application printed on the back of the sample ballot booklet mailed by the county elections office, or obtain an application online at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/vote-by-mail/pdf/fill-in-vote-by-mail-app-instruct.pdf.
Vote-by-mail voting has steadily increased in popularity over the last 34 years since the law was changed to allow any registered voter to vote by mail. Ballots cast by mail comprised 48.4 percent of all ballots in the November 2010 gubernatorial election. Nearly 58 percent of ballots cast in the June 2010 statewide primary were vote-by-mail ballots. In the May 19, 2009, Statewide Special Election, a record 62.2 percent of voters cast their ballots by mail.
The last day to register to vote in the June 5 primary election is May 21. Californians can fill out the Secretary of State’s online voter registration form at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/register-to-vote then just print, sign and mail it. (The form is even pre-addressed to the registrant’s county elections office.) Californians can also pick up a voter registration form at any U.S. post office, public library or county elections office.
Keep up with the latest California election news and trivia by following @CASOSvote on Twitter. To sign up for ballot measure updates via email, RSS feed or Twitter, go to www.sos.ca.gov/multimedia.