Marin County Voting

Voting resources specific to MARIN COUNTY: HERE

Elections

 

Registering to Vote in California

 

Fill out a voter registration form online now.

NEW: You can still register and vote up to and through Election Day using Same Day Voter Registration.

Same Day Voter Registration is available in 2020 and vote centers are being used in many counties offering new ways to vote and register and vote on the same day.  Register to vote online in 10 languages.

Requirements To Register to Vote:

 

You must

  •  be a United States citizen

  •  be 18 years of age on or before the day of the election (you can pre-register at age 16)

  •  be a resident of the State of California

  •  not be in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony

  •  not judicially determined to be incompetent to vote

 

You do not need to know how to read or write in English or any other language. No tests are given when you register to vote.

How To Register to Vote

 

On the web at registertovote.ca.gov

 

If you have a California driver license or identification card number, you can authorize use of that signature for the registration form. Fill out the online application and simply hit “submit” at the end.
   

If there is no signature on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles, you will need to:

  • Enter your date of birth and last four digits of your social security number.

  • Click “print.”

  • Sign the paper application.

  • Mail it to the address provided.

  • No printer? Go ahead and click “I don’t have the ability to print” and your county elections official will mail you a form to sign and return.

 

By calling 800.345.VOTE (800.345.8683) and asking to have a voter registration form sent to your home.

By picking up an official registration postcard form from your county elections office, any DMV office, or a public library, post office, public assistance office, or any government office that serves the disabled.

You must provide the following information on the Voter Registration Form:

  • Your full name - first, middle, last.

  • Your complete residence address - not a post office box or a place of business.

  • The address where you get your mail (if different from your residence) - this may be a post office box.

  • Your complete date of birth - month/day/year.

  • Your California drivers' license number (or identification card number) or the last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN). If you do not include this information you will be required to provide identification the first time you vote.

  • The name of the state in the U.S.A. or foreign country where you were born  (not on all forms).

  • Your political party preference - you may check "No, I do not wish to register with a political party" if you wish.

  • The address at which you were last registered to vote (if any).

  • The language in which you prefer to receive election materials - language choices will vary by county.

 

Information on the Voter Registration form that is optional:

  • Your telephone number. This number becomes a public record.

  • Your email address.

  • Mr. Mrs., Ms., or Miss.

 

You will receive a notice by mail that you are registered to vote. If you do not receive the notice within three weeks of mailing your registration form, call your County Election Official and ask if you are registered to vote. 

What is Your Residence?

 

Where are you legally entitled to register to vote?

The statute refers to your "domicile" - the place where your family lives, where you physically reside, the address on your driver's license, where you claim your homeowner's property tax exemption or renter's tax credit, the place where you intend to return whenever you are gone from it. You can only have one domicile, even if you own more than one house. See the California Election Code for more information about domiciles.

  • If you are a college student living away from home you may register at your college residence address (on or off campus) or at your permanent home address, but only at one of these places.

  • If you own more than one residence you must decide which one is your "domicile: and register to vote at only one address.

  • If you are homeless you may register as long as you maintain a fixed location where you can receive mail and at which you can be assigned to a precinct. 

 

Re-Registering to Vote

You must re-register to vote (by filling out new registration form) if:

  • You change your address within the county or move to another county in California

  • You change your name

  • You wish to affiliate (join) a political party or change your political party affiliation

  • You want to change where your ballot is being mailed

 

If you move within the same county, you may also send a letter to the County Election Official giving your old and new address and signing your name as you are registered. If you are living at the same address, you do not need to re-register if you miss one election or many elections.

How To Vote

         

Voting in Person at your polling place on Election Day

 

LOCATION: The location of your polling place is printed on  the back cover of your Sample Ballot.  You can use Voter's Edge California to lookup your polling place online. The Secretary of State's hotline toll-free at (800)345-VOTE can also help you find your polling place. Your polling place location may not be the same for every election. Make sure you check the address on your Sample Ballot before you go to vote. Note that voting precincts with very small numbers of registered voters may be declared "Mailed Ballot Precincts" and all voters in those precincts will automatically be mailed a vote by mail ballot for that election.

HOURS: The polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

SIGN IN:

  • You will be asked your name and a poll worker will find your name on the list of registered voters.

  • You do not have to produce any identification unless you are a first time voter who registered by mail. In this case, bring your California drivers license or identification card.

  • You will be asked to sign your name in the list of registered voters.

  • If a primary election, you will be given a ballot for a political party or a nonpartisan ballot.

  • You may vote only once in any election.

BRING YOUR SAMPLE BALLOT: You may bring your Sample Ballot with you into the voting booth with your choices marked. Bring the sample ballot which was mailed to you, not someone else's sample ballot. Only the sample ballot mailed to you will correspond exactly with the ballot you are given when you go to vote. Your sample ballot will tell you how to use the voting system at your polling place. Your time in the voting booth is limited. If you have marked your Sample Ballot before election day you will be able to vote quickly and correctly.

ASSISTANCE: You may bring one or two people to help you vote or you may ask a poll worker for assistance. No one may tell you who to vote for. You may ask for help using the voting machine, reading the ballot, and marking the ballot.

MISTAKES: If you make a mistake on your ballot you may ask for another one.

PROVISIONAL BALLOT: If the poll worker will not let you vote and you believe that you are properly registered to vote and want to vote at the polling place where you are, demand that you be given a provisional ballot so that you can vote.

PRIVACY: No one has the right to see how you voted or to ask you how you voted. You may put your marked ballot into the locked box yourself.

IN LINE AT CLOSING: If you are in line waiting to vote at 8 p.m. when the polls close you will be allowed to vote.

CAMPAIGNING AT THE POLLS: There may not be any campaign material or campaigning (either for candidates or for measures) in the polling place or within 100 feet from the entrance to the polling place.

EXIT POLLS: Someone may be conducting an "exit poll" as you leave the polling place. You do not have to talk with this person or give them any information about how you voted or why.

COMPLAINTS OR COMPLIMENTS: If you have any complaints (or compliments) about the voting process speak to the person in charge at the polling place. To report suspected fraud or misuse of election information, call the Secretary of State's Voter Hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683).

 

Provisional Ballot

 

You should go to the polling place in the precinct in which you believe you are entitled to vote, but you may go to any precinct in the county where you reside. If the poll workers check the roster and cannot locate your name they will assist you to try to find your correct polling location. If you believe you are registered to vote and want to vote at the polling location where you are, you are entitled to a provisional ballot. (Because registration is allowed up to 15 days prior to the election some registrations may be processed after the roster for that election has been printed and so some names may not appear on the list of registered voters at the polling place.) You do not have to show any ID in order to vote provisionally.

After you vote, your ballot will be placed in a special provisional ballot envelope. Your vote will be counted if:

  • The county elections official can verify that you are, in fact, registered to vote and

  • You have not already voted

  • If you go to a precinct other than the one you are assigned, only the votes for the candidates and measures on which you were entitled to vote in your assigned precinct will be counted.

You have a right to know if your vote was counted. Contact your county elections office to ask if the ballot with your voting receipt number was counted.

 

 

Early Voting

 

You may vote in person at the office of your County Elections Official or at another early voting location before election day. There may be early voting on the weekend which will be more convenient for you. The locations and hours are published in your county's Sample Ballot. Or key in your zip code to find information about voting in your county and contact information for your County Elections Office.

Zip Code:

 

If you are voting by mail you may drop off your completed vote-by-mail ballot at an early voting location or any election day polling location. If you do not wish to use your vote-by-mail ballot, you may give it to a pollworker and vote a regular ballot. Your surrendered vote-by-mail ballot will not be counted. If you requested a vote-by-mail ballot but did not receive it or lost it, you may vote a provisional ballot at the early voting location or at your regular polling place on election day.

Voting by Mail

         

What is a Vote-By-Mail Ballot?

 

A vote-by-mail ballot is a paper ballot, with the same candidates and measures on it as you would receive at your polling place on election day. The ballot is mailed to you with instructions on how to mark it and how to return it. (Note: a vote-by-mail ballot was formerly referred to as an absentee ballot).

 

Who Can Use a Vote-By-Mail Ballot?

Any California registered voter may ask to vote using a vote-by-mail ballot. You do not have to be "absent" or "out of town on election day" to vote by mail in California. You may apply for a vote-by-mail ballot just because you want to.

 

How to Vote By Mail

  • You must request a vote-by-mail ballot for each election unless you have permanent vote-by-mail voter status.

  • You may:

    • request a vote-by-mail ballot on the form provided by your County Elections Official. Many Elections Office Web sites have a copy of this form. You may be allowed to request a mail-in ballot electronically; if not, print, sign, and mail the form to the address provided on the Web site.

    • There is a form printed on the back cover of the sample ballot pamphlet which is mailed to you prior to each election. Tear it off and mail to back to the Election Office. A stamp is required.

    • write a letter. The letter must contain:

      • your name as it is on your voter registration application

      • the address you gave on your voter registration application

      • the address to which you want the vote-by-mail ballot sent (this address may be different from the address you gave on your voter registration application)

      • the name and date of the election

      • your signature. (If you are requesting multiple vote-by-mail ballots for your household, include each voter's name and signature.)

  • The request must be received by your County Elections Official between 29 and 7 days before the election. No vote-by-mail ballots will be mailed out 6 days or less before an election. During the 6 days before the election you may go to the office of your County Elections Official, apply for and vote an emergency vote-by-mail ballot at that office.

  • You will be mailed your proper ballot.

  • Read the instructions and mark the ballot.

  • Put the ballot in the special return envelope and fill in the required information on the envelope. If you do not sign your name on the return envelope your ballot will not be counted. Your signature must match the signature on your voter registration application form.

  • Return your ballot in the special envelope:

    • by mail (with the correct postage) or in person to the office of your County Elections Official

    • or to any polling place location in your county on election day

    You may authorize a relative or other legally authorized person to return the ballot for you. To do so, you must fill out the authorization box on the envelope in which you place your voted ballot.

  • Vote-by-mail ballots that are mailed 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 make a mistake on your vote-by-mail ballot you may:

    • phone your County Elections Official and request instructions for getting a replacement

    • take your vote-by-mail ballot to your polling place on election day, give it to the poll workers, and vote a regular ballot

  • If you lose your vote-by-mail ballot

 

Was My Vote Counted?

All valid vote-by-mail ballots are counted regardless of the outcome or closeness of any race. Some County Elections Offices invite voters to use their Web site to determine when their ballot was mailed and if their vote-by-mail ballot was received.

 

Permanent Vote-By-Mail Status

Anyone may apply for permanent vote-by-mail voter status by checking a box on the state voter registation form or by completing, signing, and mailing a permanent vote-by-mail ballot request form found on your county Web site. You may also request permanent vote-by-mail status by sending a signed letter or sending in the back cover of your Sample Ballot (where there is a check-off box to request permanent status).

You will automatically be mailed a vote-by-mail ballot for each election; you will not need to request an vote-by-mail ballot for each election. Your permanent vote-by-mail status will continue until you fail to vote in a four consecutive statewide general elections or you request cancellation. Failure to vote does not affect your registration status.

 

In the Military and Oversees Absentee Voting

There is a special form for registering to vote and for requesting an absentee (vote by mail) ballot if you are living in a foreign country on election day or if you are in the military service. After you fill out the form and sign it you must mail it to your County Elections Official.

The Voter Registration/Absentee Ballot Form is available online at the Federal Voting Assistance Program. California is one of the states which will accept a printed copy of this online form. The form is also available at American Embassies and Consulates in postcard form.

A request for an absentee/vote-by-mail ballot from an overseas voter will be regarded and processed as a request for permanent vote-by-mail status.

See Military & Overseas Voter Information (California Secretary of State).

Election Law

The California Elections Code contains the list of state laws which govern our elections. The Political Reform Act, Title 9 of the California Government Code, regulates campaign financing and spending and related topics.There are also election laws contained in county and city charters.

Election Officials

Marin County COVID-19 status update: April 06, 2020: HERE

Marin County COVID-19 status update: April 06, 2020: HERE

Marin County COVID-19 status update: April 06, 2020: HERE