How to Vote by Mail

Who can vote by mail?

Any registered voter can vote by mail. You must request a vote-by-mail ballot from your county elections official at least 7 days before the election, or you can register as a permanent vote-by-mail voter and a ballot will automatically be mailed to you prior to each election.

If you live in Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sacramento, San Mateo, Santa Clara, or Tuolumne County, a vote-by-mail ballot will automatically be mailed to you; visit or Voter's Choice Act for more information.

How to get your vote-by-mail ballot

You must request your vote-by-mail ballot no later than February 25. Here’s how:

Fill out the vote-by-mail application in your county Voter Information Guide


""Go to and fill out the vote-by-mail application

How to return your vote-by-mail ballot

After marking your choices on your vote-by-mail ballot, place it in the official envelope provided by your county elections office and seal it. Sign the envelope where directed. You have multiple options for returning your ballot.

To ensure your ballot arrives by the deadline, return it either:

By mail—must be postmarked on or before March 3 and received by your county elections office no later than March 6. No postage is required!

In person—drop off at your county elections office, any vote center or polling place in California, or any ballot drop off location before the polls close at 8:00 p.m. March 3.

State law gives voters the freedom to designate anyone they choose to return their vote-by-mail ballots. However, we recommend that you only sign your completed ballot over to someone you trust. And never hand over your vote-by-mail ballot if you have not sealed and signed the back of the return envelope provided by your county elections office.

Even if you receive your vote-by-mail ballot and envelope, you can still vote in person at your polling place on Election Day. Bring your vote-by-mail ballot to the polling place and give it to a poll worker to exchange for a polling place ballot. If you do not have your vote-by-mail ballot and envelope, you may have to vote using a provisional ballot. This ensures that you have not already cast a ballot. (See Provisional Voting for more information about provisional ballots.)

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