Vote By Mail Info

Oct. 15, 2020

Voting by mail can seem scary, so here is all the information you need to know!

What is a mail ballot?

A mail ballot (or mail-in ballot) simply means that your ballot is sent to your home address so that you don’t have to vote in person. You still have the option of voting in person, as long as you didn’t also submit your mail ballot.

How do I get a mail ballot?

In CA, every registered voter will receive one automatically with a unique barcode-- register to vote or check your status here. Other states may vary, learn more here.

How do I correctly fill out my mail ballot?

  1. Use a blue or black pen

  2. Bubble in each box completely

  3. Try to vote for federal, state, and local offices. If you don’t know one, you can learn morehere. You won’t be penalized for skipping one though.

  4. Don’t get your ballot wet or rip it, this can affect the scanning process. If this happens, you can request a replacement ballot by contacting your local registrar of voters, contacts vary by county.

  5. In some cases, first-time voters may be asked to include additional documentation. Send a photocopy of acceptable ID to your local registrar of voter’s office.

  6. SIGNATURE!! On the envelope and anywhere else it asks (may vary). Try to use the same signature as your driver’s license or other government documents.

  7. Write the complete date (ie 10/19/2020 instead of 10/19/20).

How do I cast my mail ballot?

  1. You can put it in any outgoing mailbox by Nov 3rd, though try to do it as soon as possible. Californians don’t even need postage stamps!

  2. You may also go to any ballot dropbox (there is one in Mesa Lot 5) that is picked up by the OC Registrar of Voters every day.

  3. Or, you can drop it off at any in-person vote center and skip the line! Use this link to find the nearest locations to you.

Where is my mail ballot?

  • In CA, you can track your ballot just like an Amazon shipment. Just go to this link.

Will my vote count if I vote by mail?

  • Yes-- voting by mail is incredibly safe. If you are concerned about your mail ballot, try to send it back as early as possible, or cast it at a ballot dropbox. You can also see when your mail vote is recorded at this link.

I received a mail ballot, but would rather vote in person. Can I do that?

  • Sure! The choice is yours, just be safe and wear a mask when voting. The lines may be a bit longer than usual so plan accordingly. If you have it, bring your mail ballot with you so they can void it properly. You can find the nearest vote center to you here.

My ballot was sent to the wrong address… what do I do?

  • This can seem scary, but no worries because there are several things you can do. Firstly, ask yourself the question: did I update my voter registration for my new address? And did I specify that I am updating my address?
  1. If NO → update your voter registration here (CA) for your new address. You have until Oct 19th. Be sure to input your previous address where it asks if you were previously registered. In about a week, you should get a new ballot and the old one will be automatically voided.

  2. If YES → double-check your status here (CA). If it is correct, and you recently changed your address, no worries because your new ballot will be sent shortly and the old one will automatically be voided. If it is correct and you’ve had this address for a while, there may be an issue, contact your local registrar of voters (OC one is here). If it is incorrect, update your address by re-registering to vote here.

I am temporarily abroad, what should I do?

  • For Californian voters abroad, go to this website.

I made a mistake on my mail ballot or I lost my ballot, what do I do?

  • You can get a replacement ballot if you contact your local registrar of voters or election administrators. Contact links vary depending on your county. Alternatively, you can not submit your mail ballot and vote in person instead-- bring your old ballot, if you can, to properly void it.

How can I report a problem with voting or get more information?

  • The Secretary of State has established a toll-free Voter Hotline for requests for election materials and to report suspicions of voting or registration irregularities. The number is (800) 345-VOTE (8683).

I still have questions about my personal circumstances!

  • If you still have questions, please contact and I will try to respond as quickly as possible.


Joshua Block

UC I Decide Commissioner

ASUCI, 2020-2021