California Code of Regulations
Title 2. Administration
Division 7. Secretary of State
Chapter 3. Voting Locations
Article 1. Vote-by-Mail Ballot Drop Boxes and Vote-by-Mail Drop-Off Locations
- 20136 Drop-off Location and Drop Box Hours. Public Notification. Collection Times.
20136. Drop-off Location and Drop Box Hours. Public Notification. Collection Times.
- The county elections official shall publicly announce the locations of drop-off locations and drop boxes at least 30 days prior to the election. The announcement must include the days and estimated times a particular staffed drop box will be available. The announcement must also include information on accessibility, including wheelchair access, for each drop-off location and drop box. Information shall be included in the county’s Voter Information Guide and Sample Ballot publications, included in vote-by-mail materials sent to voters, and conspicuously posted on the county elections official’s website. In the event any changes are made to locations and/or schedules, the information posted on the elections official’s website shall be updated within 24 hours.
- For the purpose of posting the locations on the Secretary of State’s website and to include information in any relevant election materials, the county elections official shall notify the Secretary of State of the drop-off and drop box locations, and the dates and estimated hours of availability, at least 30 days prior to the election. In the event any changes are made to locations and/or schedules, the Secretary of State must be notified within 24 hours.
- Drop boxes shall be locked and covered, or otherwise made unavailable to the public until the 29th day prior to the election, to ensure that no ballots or any other materials may be deposited before the vote-by-mail period begins. The elections official shall determine the appropriate method or design to make the drop boxes unavailable for use. Prior to use on the 29th day before the election, all drop boxes shall be inspected for damage and to ensure they are empty.
- A county elections official who provides a drop box outside of their office throughout the year for the purpose of voters delivering completed voter registration affidavits shall not be required to lock and cover those drop boxes.
- In the event drop boxes are deployed on the 60th day prior to an election for use by military and overseas voters, the provisions of this Article must be followed.
- Ballots shall be retrieved from drop boxes at times determined by the elections official, but shall be subject to the following:
- Ballots shall be retrieved from both staffed and unstaffed drop boxes at least every 96 hours, excluding Saturdays and Sundays, between the 29th day before the election and the 10th day before an election.
- Ballots shall be retrieved from staffed drop boxes at least every 72 hours, excluding Saturdays and Sundays, after the 10th day before the election through the closing of the polls on Election Day. The elections official shall develop procedures for contacting locations of staffed drop boxes between ballot retrieval periods to determine if an additional retrieval is needed.
- Ballots shall be retrieved from unstaffed drop boxes every 48 hours, excluding Saturdays and Sundays, after the 10th day prior to an election through the closing of the polls on Election Day.
- Upon the closing of the polls on Election Day, all drop boxes shall be locked and covered or otherwise made unavailable at 8:00 p.m. to ensure that no ballots are dropped off after the polls have closed. In the event there are voters in line at 8:00 p.m., or a court order has been issued extending the time for the closing of the polls, the drop boxes may remain open until those voters have cast their ballot or the court order extending time has lapsed.
Note: Authority cited: Section 12172.5, Government Code; and Sections 10 and 3025, Elections Code. Reference: Section 3025, Elections Code.