Assembly Bill 37, which was signed into law in 2021, made it such that every active registered voter in the State of California, will receive a vote-by-mail ballot for every election. No longer is there a need to become a permanent vote-by-mail voter, or to apply to receive one.
The Process of Voting-By-Mail
Any registered voter may vote by vote-by-mail ballot. Every active registered voter, will receive a vote-by-mail ballot for every election. Rather than go to a voting location to cast a ballot on election day, you may vote the vote-by-mail ballot that is sent to you, which you will need to complete and return to your elections official.
*All valid vote-by-mail ballots are counted in every election in California, regardless of the outcome or closeness of any race. For additional canvass of the vote information please visit the Secretary of State’s web site at www.ss.ca.gov/elections/elections_oc.htm
Processing your Vote-By-Mail Ballot
If you vote your vote-by-mail ballot, please mark the ballot, then insert your ballot into the envelope provided for this purpose, making sure you complete all required information on the envelope. Please be sure you sign the envelope.
You may return your voted vote-by-mail ballot by
- mailing it to your county elections official;
- Vote-by-mail ballots that are mailed, must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 7 days after Election Day.
- If you are not sure your vote-by-mail ballot will arrive in time if mailed, bring it to any Vote Center or polling location in the state between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
- returning it in person to a polling location or the office of your county elections official.
- Vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
- dropping your ballot into official ballot drop box in the state; or
- Vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered to a ballot drop-off location must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
- authorizing someone to return the ballot on your behalf.
- Anyone may return your ballot for you, as long as they do not get paid on a per ballot basis. In order for your ballot to be counted, you must fill out the authorization section found on the outside of your ballot envelope.
Accessible Voting by Mail
The Elections Department strives to provide Vote Centers that are accessible to the elderly and voters with disabilities. If a Vote Center does not meet accessibility guidelines, call (877) 777-4017 to receive information on alternative methods of voting.
For alternatives to voting a paper vote-by-mail ballot, please visit our Accessible Voting webpage.
For the Secretary of State’s accessibility assistance line call (800) 345-8683 or visit https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/voters-disabilities