Action deadline: Time’s nearly up! California election dates you need to know:
- General Midterm Election: Tuesday November 6, 2018, 7 AM to 8 PM. Personally delivered ballots must be delivered by close of polls on Nov. 6. Mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before Nov. 6, and received by your county elections office no later than Nov. 9.
- Voter Registration: register online OR your registration form must be postmarked by October 22, 2018 OR if you miss the deadline conditionally register and vote at your county elections office after the 15-day voter registration deadline.
- Vote-by-Mail Ballot Request: must arrive by October 30, 2018. Print & fill out this application form and mail or bring it to your County Elections Office; or call your county elections office to see if you can apply by phone.
Early voting has started in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Check with your county for deadlines, locations, and specific guidelines — generally you can vote early in person, or by filling out a ballot and dropping it off at a designated site.
- Here’s the California statewide list of early voting and vote by mail ballot drop-off locations. Pull down to see all locations in your county.
- These webpages tell you about early voting, voting by mail, dropping off your ballot, and more:
Did you forget to register to vote, or did you move and forget to re-register? Little-known fact: you can still register and vote conditionally at your county elections office, or at certain other locations up through Election Day.
Voter registration 101:
- Are you eligible to vote, but not registered? Pick up a paper application, fill it out and put it in the mail – no postage required! You can find a paper application at lots of places, including:
- county elections offices
- the DMV
- government offices
- post offices
- public libraries
- Do you want to register online? If so, you’ll need:
- your California driver license or I.D. card number,
- the last four digits of your social security number, and
- your date of birth.
Your info will be provided to CA Department of Motor Vehicles to retrieve a copy of your DMV signature. Don’t have one of those I.D.s, or have other questions? See more at the CA Secretary of State’s Election Division FAQ or contact them at 800-345-VOTE (8683) or by email.
- Is your registration accurate? Check! Many voter registrations have errors – check yours. If you registered recently at the DMV, many of those were botched, so CHECK!
- Do you need to re-register? Check here, and if you need to, please re-register. These are some (not all) of the reasons you must re-register to vote:
- you moved since you last registered
- you legally changed your name since you last registered
- you want to change your political party
- California voter hotlines: the Secretary of State’s office provides voting-related materials and assistance in ten languages. Call one of the toll-free hotlines for answers to your questions about voting and elections, or to request mail delivery of a voter registration form, vote-by-mail application, or the Official Voter Information Guide.
- Read our earlier article, with information about your county’s election processes, pre-registering 16- and 17-year olds, voting for previously incarcerated people, and much more
- See Vote.org’s California Election Center. Sign up for election reminders.
- See the Voter’s Edge guide (a partnership of the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund’s Smart Voter and MapLight. It includes in-depth info about what’s on your ballot, and much more.
Send this info to your family and friends in states other than California:
- Vote.org offers lots of information, and it’s easy to remember (it requires you to provide an email address).
- Indivisible has partnered with TurboVote to help you sign up to get election reminders, register to vote, apply for your absentee ballot, and more
- The National Association of Secretaries of States’ website helps eligible voters figure out how and where to vote
Want to do more?
- Find out how to be an official poll worker in Contra Costa County or in Alameda County.
- Protect the vote as a non-partisan poll monitor:
- Are you a lawyer, paralegal, law student or other legal professional? Sign up to volunteer with Election Protection, a national coalition including the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
- If you’re not a legal pro, sign up with Election Protection’s non-partisan poll monitoring program at https://protectthevote.net/
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.