Voting in the 2020 Election

Information to make sure you get your vote in safely and on time.

By Tom Arthur from Orange, CA, United States – vote for better tape, CC BY-SA 2.0,

The 2020 presidential elections are four days away. Registered voters will be able to cast their votes for local school board, city council, state legislature, Congress and the president as well as city, county, and state measures or propositions by mail or in-person at official polling places across the state.

Vote By Mail

The deadline to request a mail-in ballot in California was Oct. 27, although those who choose to vote-by-mail still have the chance to submit their ballots at a Vote Center by 8p.m. on Nov. 3.

An election ballot can also be returned by mail, with no postage necessary, or dropped off at a Vote-By-Mail Drop Box as long as it is postmarked by Nov. 3. Ballots received later than Nov. 3 or not received by the county elections office within 17 days will not be counted.

To track the ballot’s location, subscribe to “Where’s My Ballot” to receive updates via text message, email or automated voice message. This service can also give an estimate on when the ballot is expected to be received and is free of charge to registered voters.

The voter’s signature is important. According to, “If the signature on your Vote by Mail return envelope doesn’t match what is in our voter registration database we will notify you by mail and ask [that] you complete and return the Signature Verification Statement.” If the signature is forgotten altogether, the voter will receive a document called the “Unsigned Ballot Statement” which is required to be signed and returned within 28 days of Nov. 3 for the vote to be counted.

In-Person Voting

Individuals can vote at any voting center in the county with early voting open in all centers beginning Oct. 30.

Centers will be open for early voting now until Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voting Centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m on Election Day.

Election Center locations can be found on the Secretary of State Government website or at All Los Angeles County registered voters are able to vote at Mt. SAC’s gym, which will require voters to park in Parking Lot B.

Voting Centers will be following state and county COVID-19 precautions. These requirements include wearing masks, social distancing and sanitizing all surfaces and devices after each use.

Voters can speed up their check-in process at the voting center by scanning a barcode that can be found online, on the mailed Sample ballot or on the Vote Center postcard.

Another time-saver at the polls is the Interactive Sample Ballot. This gives voters the option to make their selections before heading to the voting centers. Once all the selections are made, the voter will receive a QR Code, or a Poll Pass. This will transfer the selections from the Sample Ballot to the ballot marking device.

At the polls, voters can expect to check in, be given a ballot and will then head to the ballot marking device to make their selections. To use the ballot marking device the voter will tap the screen to start, select the preferred language, insert their ballot, make their selections, review their selections, then cast the ballot.

California allows same-day voter registration, also called Conditional Voter Registration. To do this, an individual can go to any vote center and complete the Conditional Voter Registration application. They will receive a ballot, vote the same as any other registered voter, and then be required to take the printed ballot to an election worker. As soon as the Conditional Voter Registration is verified, the ballot will be counted and their application will be verified.