California recall election: Key dates and FAQs

Your Local Elections

SACRAMENTO (INSIDE CALIFORNIA POLITICS) – With a special election like the upcoming recall election coming up, the typical dates might be a little different than a general one.

Here are all the key dates you need to know for the upcoming recall election.

Aug. 30: Must be registered to vote to receive mail ballot

Aug. 31 to Sep. 14: Conditional voter registration

Sept. 4: Some counties’ vote centers open Sept. 4

Sept. 11 to Sept. 13: Early voting

Sept. 14: Recall Election Day
– Can still vote in-person in most counties
– In-person voting sites open statewide from 7 am to 8 pm

Sept. 21: Election Day postmarked mailed ballots must be received by this date

Remember that in-person voting deadlines differ by county. Check with yours for the most up-to-date information.

Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions on the California Secretary of State website:

How do I register to vote?

To register to vote in California, you must be:
• A United States citizen and a resident of California;
• 18 years old or older on Election Day;
• Not currently serving a state or federal prison term for the conviction of a felony; and
• Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court

If you are eligible, you can register to vote or update your registration online at registertovote.ca.gov. If you would like to fill out a physical form, voter registration applications can be found at post offices and libraries.

You must re-register to vote if you move, change your name, or change your political party preference.

Can I pre-register to vote in California?

Yes, to pre-register to vote in California, you must:
• Be 16 or 17 years old; and
• Meet all of the other eligibility requirements to vote.

After pre-registering, you will automatically be registered to vote on your 18th birthday. Go to registertovote.ca.gov to pre-register to vote.

How do I check my voter registration status?

To check your voter registration status – including political party – you can use the “My Voter Status” tool at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov. You can also call our Voter Hotline at 1-800-345-VOTE (8683) for your status.

What if I miss the voter registration deadline?

If you miss the deadline to register to vote 15 days before an election, you still have an opportunity to register and vote. You can go to your county election office, vote center, or polling place on or before
Election Day to complete the conditional voter registration process (often referred to as “Same Day Voter Registration”). You will have to fill out a voter registration card and will be given a ballot. Once county elections officials have verified your voter registration, your vote will be counted. Contact your county elections official for more information or visit vote.ca.gov.

What if I need voter information in a different language?

Statewide voter information is available in 10 languages. Visit www.sos.ca.gov/election/votingcalifornia. Contact your county elections official to see what languages local information may be
available in.

When will I receive my voter guide?

Registered voters will receive, by mail, their nonpartisan State Voter Information Guide from the Secretary of State’s office a few weeks before Election Day. The State Voter Information Guide will also be available online at voterguide.sos.ca.gov. County elections offices will also mail a county voter information guide to voters. County voter guides will include information about where and how to vote as well as a sample ballot.

When will I receive my ballot?

For the Sept. 14, 2021, California Gubernatorial Recall Election all active registered California voters will receive their ballot in the mail, if they have registered before the voter registration deadline. County elections officials will begin mailing ballots by August 16, 2021.

Can I track where my vote-by-mail ballot is?

Yes! Where’s My Ballot? allows voters to track and receive notifications on the status of their vote-by-mail ballot, every step of the way. Sign up at WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov to receive an automatic email, SMS (text), or voice call notifications about your ballot.

What if I need a replacement ballot or need an emergency ballot?

If you did not receive a vote-by-mail ballot or you have lost or destroyed your original vote-by-mail ballot, the timeframe to request a vote-by-mail ballot has passed, or you are unable to vote in person at the polls, you may apply in writing for a late vote-by-mail ballot. This application will need to be provided in person to the county elections official by you or your representative. The late vote-by-mail ballot application can be found at elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov/vote-by-mail/pdf/latevote-by-mail-application.pdf

How can I return my vote-by-mail ballot?

Instead of going to the polls on Election Day, you may vote using the vote-by-mail ballot that will be sent to
you.
• By mailing it to your county elections official (must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 7 days after Election Day);
• Dropping your ballot into one of your county’s ballot drop boxes, or at a ballot drop-off location, ballot drop box, or a polling location anywhere in the state
• Asking someone you trust to return your ballot for you, as long as they do not get paid on a per ballot
basis.

How do I find out if my ballot has been counted?

You can go to “My Voter Status” to find out if your vote was counted and if not, why not at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov.

How early can I vote?

Your county may offer early voting locations before Election Day. For a list go to vote.ca.gov. For the Sept. 14, 2021, California Gubernatorial Recall Election, vote-by-mail ballots will be mailed to every
active Californian voter on or before Aug. 16, 2021. To ensure your vote-by-mail ballot is counted, it must
be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county election office no later than 7 days after Election Day.

How do I find my polling place or vote center?

• Check the back of your county voter information guide for your polling place, vote centers, or
ballot drop-off locations
• Contact your county elections office
• Call the Secretary of State’s Voter Hotline -1-800-345- VOTE (8683) or visit
voterstatus.sos.ca.gov
• Text ‘VOTE’ to ‘GOVOTE’ (468-683)

How can I get up to-the-minute election results?

Statewide election vote counts can be found at electionresults.sos.ca.gov.

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