California Residents: Do This to Make Sure Your Vote Counts
Steven T. Lowe
Vote early and use dropbox. Instructions below.
With the Presidential General Election rapidly approaching, every California voter should have a plan to vote.
In the midst of a pandemic, voting at the polls may not be a viable option for many Californians. Fortunately, the state of California offers alternative ways for its residents to cast their vote. Under Executive Order N-64-20, all twenty-one million of the state’s registered voters have been mailed a Vote by Mail Address Confirmation Notice (“VMACN”) with information on how to vote. If you have not received a VMACN before October 3, 2020, you should contact your county elections official. Information for election officials can be found at The California Secretary of State: County Elections Offices. Once you complete and return the VMACN via mail or FedEx, you will receive an “absentee ballot.” The absentee ballot can be mailed in, or preferably, taken directly to a dropbox as described below.
As an alternative to having voters vote in person or return their completed vote-by-mail ballots in the mail for the Presidential General Election, California’s Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk has implemented an accessible, transparent, and convenient program for voters to drop off their mail ballot in a secure dropbox. Voters can complete their ballot at home and deposit them into one of the hundreds of drop boxes dispersed throughout California. Before dropping your ballot off in a dropbox, be sure to place your completed ballot card inside the Official Return Envelope, seal the envelope, and sign and date the back of the envelope. The ballots will then be collected by election officials.
According to the California Secretary of State, ballot drop boxes open on October 6, 2020, and lock on November 3, 2020, at 8 pm. The location of each dropbox will be made available thirty days before election day; a list of California counties that will be participating in the vote-by-mail ballot drop-off, as well as the address of the dropbox location closest to you, can be found on LAvote.net. (Not all counties are participating).
After returning your ballot via dropbox, you can check to make sure your ballot was received and counted through the vote-by-mail status tool on LAvote.net. Early voting begins on October 3, 2020, and the vote-by-mail status tool becomes available on October 4″. Additionally, voters can sign-up at WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov to receive email, text message, or voice call notifications about the status of their ballot. This service is offered in a myriad of California counties, those of which can be found at https://www.sos.ca.vov/clections/ballot status/wheres-my-ballot/. If your county is not listed on the California Secretary of State website, you can visit voterstatus.sos.ca.gov to identify whether your ballot has been received and tallied.
With the coming election being one of the most important in our nation’s history, developing a plan to exercise your right to vote 1s essential. Utilizing the ballot drop boxes ensures the integrity of our democracy by protecting your vote.