Important Election Dates:
October 5 – Mailing of election materials begins
October 19 – Deadline to register to vote if you want to receive ballot in the mail. After that deadline you can register up until election day at a Vote Center
October 24 – Some Vote Centers open
October 31 – All Vote Centers open
November 3 – Election Day
All Vote Centers are open from 7am to 8pm on election day.
Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by November 3, 2020
Ballots returned at a secure ballot drop must be deposited by 8pm on November 3, 2020
Registering to Vote:
Qualifications – You must be a US citizen. You cannot be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction. You have to be 18 on or before Election Day to vote in this election. You can’t be determined mentally incompetent by a judge.
Voters who are homeless may register to vote at a shelter where they receive services or spend their time, or provide cross-streets or landmarks of where they sleep at night usually. They need to know your location to determine what you are allowed to vote on. You do need to have a separate mailing address, though.
All voters must provide a mailing address. This can be a shelter, a PO Box, a business, General Delivery, friend/family’s house. The ballot will not be forwarded to another address. If you move you should re-register.
You can register online but if you do not have a CA Drivers License or ID, you should register using a paper registration form. An alternative is to print out the online form so it can be signed but a printer is necessary that way. Registertovote.ca.gov . You can request a form be sent to you by calling (916) 875-6451.
If you miss the deadline to register 15 days before the election, you should register at a Vote Center.
Check your registration at registertovote.ca.gov or call (800) 762-8019
All registered voters will automatically receive their ballot in the mail. Fill out all the questions applicable. If you include your phone number they can call you if there is a question about your form. You can either return your ballot by mail (postage is free) or drop it off at any Ballot Drop Box or Vote Center. There will still be in person voting as an option and you can even register to vote the same day. Voters are encouraged to vote early and not wait for Election Day, to avoid long lines and for safety reasons.
References: Sacramento County Registrar of Voters, RocktheVote.org, and Secretary of State website. Graphic from National Coalition for the Homeless