Registered voters in California can vote in person at their local polling places or vote by mail.
To request a vote-by-mail ballot you can:
If you decide to vote by mail, your request for a vote-by-mail ballot must arrive at your county elections office at least 7 days before Election Day.
You must return your completed vote-by-mail ballot so it arrives at your county elections office before the polls close at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. If you do not feel confident your voted ballot will arrive in time if you mail it, you can bring the sealed envelope to any polling place in your county or to your county elections office between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
Your local polling place address can be found on the back of the sample ballot booklet you receive by mail from your county elections office. You can also contact your county elections office or call the Secretary of State's toll-free Voter Hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683).
In most cases, California voters are not required to show identification before they cast ballots.
However, if you are voting for the first time after registering by mail and did not provide your driver license number, California identification number or the last four digits of your social security number on your registration form, you may be asked to show a form of identification when you go to the polls.
In this case, be sure to bring identification with you to your polling place or include a copy of it with your vote-by-mail ballot. A copy of a recent utility bill, the sample ballot booklet you received from your county elections office or another document sent to you by a government agency are examples of acceptable forms of identification. Others acceptable forms of identification include your passport, driver license, official state identification card, or student identification card showing your name and photograph.
For answers to your questions about voting, including information on acceptable forms of voter identification to use at a polling place when voting for the first time, call the Secretary of State's toll-free Voter Hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683).
If your name does not appear on the list of registered voters at the polling place, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot, which will be counted after elections officials have confirmed you are a registered voter and you did not vote elsewhere in that election. The poll worker can give you information about how to check if your provisional ballot was counted and, if it was not counted, the reason why.
Each county elections office is allowed to select its own voting system, so the system you will use depends on where you live. To find the voting system used in your county, please visit How to Vote Using Your County's Voting System.