Voted ballot return deadline - Your ballot must be received by 8:00pm on Election Day.
Voted ballot return deadline - Your ballot must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received no later than 7 days following the Election.
It is important that the voter read and completely fill out the return envelope for the Vote by Mail ballot. In order for your ballot to count you MUST sign the envelope your ballot is returned in and indicate your residence address (not mailing address).
In California, voters may authorize anyone they choose to return their voted Vote-by-Mail ballot. This can be a great help to voters who can’t mail their ballot in time, or get to an Official Ballot Drop Box location, a Polling Place location, or a Drive Up Ballot Drop Off location. If you authorize someone to return your ballot, please be sure that you give your ballot to someone you know and trust. The Registrar of Voters urges you to not entrust your ballot to a stranger.
The person returning the ballot on the voter’s behalf, must sign complete and sign the appropriate sections on the back of the Vote by Mail return envelope.
In general, Vote-by-Mail ballots are counted in the same manner as regular ballots cast at a polling place. Once it is determined that the signature on the Vote-by-Mail ballot return envelope matches that of the voter on his or her affidavit of registration form, the ballot and the envelopes are separated. The ballot is then intermingled anonymously with other ballots in order to preserve the voter's right to secrecy.
Vote-by-Mail envelopes are processed as soon as they are received by the Registrar of Voters' Office. Qualified ballots are scanned and ready to be tallied and reported after the polls close on Election Day.
The first ballot counts you are likely to hear on Election Night reflect the ballots cast by Vote-by-Mail voters which explains how we can show preliminary results before any polling place precincts have reported. The Vote-by-Mail totals reported on Election Day reflect only those ballots returned prior to Election Day.
A substantial number of Vote-by-Mail ballots are returned on Election Day at the polls. These require extra handling to ensure the voter did not also vote at the polls. These ballots are counted are not likely to be reported in the vote totals for several days after the election.