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California absentee ballot guide

Last updated: June 25, 2020
  • In California, you can apply for an absentee ballot by-mail or in-person.

California will mail every registered voter a vote-by-mail ballot for the November 3rd, 2020 General Election.

If you need to change the address where you would like to receive this ballot, update your voter registration at https://registertovote.ca.gov

Absentee ballot deadlines

  • In-person: 7 days before Election Day
  • By-mail: Received 7 days before Election Day
  • Online: 7 days before Election Day
  • Voted absentee ballots are due: Postmarked by Election Day

Who can vote by absentee ballot in California

  • Any registered California voter may apply for an absentee ballot and vote by mail.
  • ALERT: California will mail every registered voter a vote-by-mail ballot for the November 3rd, 2020 General Election. If you need to change the address where you would like to receive this ballot, update your voter registration at https://registertovote.ca.gov.

Apply by-mail or in-person

  1. Download and fill out the California absentee ballot application.
  2. Sign and date your form.
  3. Mail or hand-deliver your completed form directly to your local election office. You should submit your form as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
  4. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by-mail is: Received 7 days before Election Day.
  5. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot in-person is: 7 days before Election Day.

Your absentee ballot should arrive within a week of your application. If it doesn’t arrive, call your local election office and follow up.

Once your ballot arrives

  1. Once you receive your absentee ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions.
  2. Mail or hand-deliver your completed absentee ballot to your local elections office. Your ballot must be received by the deadline or it will not be counted.
  3. Your voted absentee ballot must be postmarked by Election Day.

Confused? Need help?

Contact your local elections office if you have any questions about absentee ballots in California.