California Elections
  • Every Registered Voter in the State of California must be allowed vote in every election.
  • Vote by Mail ballots are sent out and arrive approximately 28 (twenty-eight) days prior to Election Day for those people who have opted to Vote By Mail.
  • Every registered Voter who lives in a County that has chosen to implement the Voter’s Choice Act will receive a Vote by Mail ballot devoid of having opted in to do so.
  • You are NOT required to vote by mail and may choose to vote in person.

Returning a Vote By Mail Ballot

Vote by Mail ballots can be returned 3 ways:


    • Picture of an envelope. 1. Mail the ballot;
    • Picture of a mailbox. 2. Drop the ballot in a secure county ballot drop box; or
    • Picture of a building. 3. Visit any vote center in the county.


It is highly recommend Voters physically return a completed ballot to a Vote Center or County Registrar to reduce the likelihood of the ballot being “harvested” while waiting to be retrieved, during retrieval or in transit.

We do NOT suggest allowing anyone to “harvest” your ballot.  A ballot should  be considered far more valuable than the most valuable thing in your life. NEVER hand over a “live” or completed  ballot to a complete stranger. If you receive more than one Vote by Mail Ballot, destroy the extra ballot.

Voter’s Choice Act

Polling Places have been renamed “Vote Centers” which begin opening 10 (ten) days (two (2) Saturdays) prior to Election Day through:

1. The Friday before Election Day. During this time frame one (1) Vote Center is required for every 50,000 registered voters.

2. Three (3) days prior to (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) Election Day, one (1) Vote Center is required for every 10,000 registered voters.

Vote Centers will continue to provide the same function as Polling Places which include replacement ballots, turning in a completed Vote by Mail ballot, correcting or modifying registration, casting a ballot in-person, utilizing  electronic voting and multiple language election information.

Same Day Registration or Conditional Voters must present themselves to the Registrars Office to cast a ballot or cast a Provisional Ballot which will not be counted until registration requirements are validated.

The main difference between Polling Places and Vote Centers is the ability of a Registered Voter to use any Voter Center in the County to cast a ballot without being forced to cast a Provisional Ballot.

Voting in Person

If a Voter wants to vote in person we suggest bringing in the entire Vote by Mail ballot to surrender, marked ballots may also be surrendered.  The Election Clerk is required to “spoil” the ballot by writing “SURRENDERED” across all the ballots. The Voter is then issued a “live” or “fresh” ballot to complete at the Vote Center. Ballots issued at the Vote Center may not leave the Vote Center, they must be cast or destroyed.

If the Vote By Mail ballot is not “surrendered” at the Voter Center, a Voter may still cast a live provisional ballot.

Ballot Harvesting

Ballot Harvesting is the practice of collecting completed ballots other than those belonging to immediate family. This practice, previously illegal, became legal in 2018. Due to this practice many ballots were turned in at the last minute changing the results of races and initiatives week after they had been “called”.

It is believed that democrat paid “harvesters” collected ballots from unsuspecting voters which they manipulated before turning into the election office.

To assure that your ballot is received at the election office unmolested you must physically return it.

City Elections
  • Ballot Measure placed on the ballot by the City.
  • City Council
  • Mayor
  • Water Board (depending on the city or county you reside in)

City or Municipal Elections issues:

Contact your City Clerk. (See California Roster)


County Elections
  • Board of Supervisors
  • Central Committee
  • School Board
  • Sheriff
  • Superior Court Judges
  • Water Board (depending on the city or county you reside in)

County Elections issues:

Contact your County Elections Official. (See County Roster)

State Elections
  • Governor – 4 year term*
  • LT. Governor- 4 year term*
  • Secretary of State- 4 year term*
  • Attorney General- 4 year term*
  • State Treasures- 4 year term*
  • State Controller- 4 year term*
  • Insurance Commissioner- 4 year term*
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction – 4 year term*
  • State Assembly – 2 year term
  • State Senate – 4 year term, every 2 years half of the Senate is up for election
  • Statewide Initiatives

* Up for election two years after the Presidential Election.

State Election issues:

Contact the California Secretary of State:
Elections Division
1500 11th Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Comments and suggestions
(916) 657-2166 or (800) 345-VOTE (8683)

Federal Elections
  • President of the United States – 4 year term
  • US Senate – 6 year term, every two years the members of one class–approximately one-third of the senators–face election or reelection.
    • Harris 2023
    • Feinstein 2025
  • US House of Representatives – 2 year term

Federal Election issues:

Federal Election Commission:
999 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20463
Emails: FEC and federal campaign finance law:
Campaign finance reports and data:
(800) 424-9530


United States Department of Justice – Public Integrity Section:

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
(202) 514-1412