If you haven’t thought about voting, this is your reminder. Register. Now. (The registration deadline is 10/19 and it only takes a minute to register online). This might be the most important election of our lifetime… maybe in the history of this country. We’re deciding the fate of the earth (global warming), the rights of women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+, and many other issues that will directly affect you and your loved ones.

In the last election, over 40% of eligible voters didn’t vote. That means that almost half of the eligible US population didn’t decide our current political status. If you’ve ever felt like sitting out was an option, this year is not it. Register. Vote. It’ll take a tiny fraction of your life, and it will impact the health and well-being of yourself and millions of others for the next 4 years (and many years of ramifications to follow).

We’re here to offer you a simple guide on voting in California: how to register, where to vote, the important candidates and propositions, and additional resources.

For a super comprehensive guide, check out calmatters.org/election-2020-guide

Register to vote

Not registered? Not sure? Go to registertovote.ca.gov to check your status, and register if you haven’t. It literally takes a minute.

Deadlines

Election day: November 3rd

Registration deadlines:

Online: October 19th

By mail: Postmarked by October 19th

In person: November 3rd

Absentee ballot deadlines

Request by: October 27th

Return by mail: Postmarked by November 3rd

Return in person: November 3rd by 8:00 p.m.

Early voting

October 5th – November 2nd

If you miss registration

You can also register and vote on Election Day – go to your county election office, polling place, or vote center to register and vote conditionally. 

How to vote

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. All of California’s registered voters will be mailed a ballot no later than 29 days prior to Election Day. Early voting and in-person voting locations will also be available to voters.

By mail

All registered voters will be sent a vote-by-mail ballot by October 5, 2020 – you don’t need to apply. Once you receive your ballot, fill it out. After you have voted, insert your ballot in the envelope provided, making sure you complete all required information on the envelope. You may return your voted ballot by mail, in person, or to a drop box.

  • If you are returning your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 17 days after Election Day.
  • If you are returning your ballot in person or dropping it in a drop box, it must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on November 3rd. (Someone else can drop it off for you, just don’t pay them.)
  • Important: You must fill out the authorization section found on the outside of your ballot envelope, or it won’t be counted.

In person

San Francisco

Go to sfelections.org/tools/map_poll_time to find available polling and ballot drop-off locations.

Los Angeles

Go to locator.lavote.net/locations/vc to find available polling and ballot drop-off locations.

Important local candidates and propositions

California propositions

Here are the California propositions to consider. Click on each one to view a 60-second video explanation, plus support and opposition.

Proposition 14: Stem cell research funding

Proposition 15: Property tax “split roll” for commercial real estate

Proposition 16: Repealing the ban on affirmative action

Proposition 17: Voting rights for felons on parole

Proposition 18: Allow some 17-year-olds to vote in primaries

Proposition 19: Property tax transfers and inheritances

Proposition 20: Recategorize criminal sentencing charges

Proposition 21: Rent control

Proposition 22: Job classification for app-based drivers

Proposition 23: Physicians onsite at dialysis clinics

Proposition 24: Add new consumer privacy rules

Proposition 25: Replace cash bail with risk assessment

Local candidates

Candidate information for:

Senate

Congress

State Assembly

Regardless of how you’re voting, just educate yourself and VOTE. This is a democracy after all, but only if we all participate.