Early &
Mail-in Voting
in California

Warning: Mail-in voting is a convenient and safe way to vote, but your ballot might not count if it's submitted late or with errors. So follow the directions below on how to vote early or absentee and make your vote count in California.

Note - this information below may change for your state due to ongoing litigation and legislation. This page will be updated within 24 hours of any change.

Vote Before Election Day

Vote Early In Person
10/10/2022
Early Voting Begins
11/07/2022
Early Voting Ends

Vote By Mail Deadlines

11/01/2022
Deadline to Request Ballot (Received by)
11/08/2022
Deadline to Return Ballot (Postmarked By)

In-Person Early Voting

You can vote early in your state before Election Day. Early voting begins on 10/10/2022 and ends on 11/07/2022

You can return your mail-in ballot to your early voting site.

Exact early voting dates and hours vary and are determined by your county elections office.

How Vote By Mail Works in California

Voting by mail is a one step process in California. Beginning in 2022, ballots will automatically be mailed to all registered voters. After you complete your ballot, be sure to return it ASAP!

  • Return in person by Election Day at 8 p.m. You can return to any county drop boxes, polling sites, vote centers, and your county election office.
  • Or return your ballot by mail - ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received by 7 days after Election Day to be counted. To make your postmark date, put the ballot into your home mailbox for collection at least one day prior to ensure it is picked up and processed. You can also drop the ballot off at the post office before the last posted collection time on Election Day. We recommend returning ASAP.
Need your ballot sent to a different address? Apply for your ballot here by November 1st and follow the steps listed above. If you need a ballot mailed to a different address after this date, contact your county elections office.

Request Your Ballot See Your Ballot Look Up Ballot Drop Off Locations

You may vote by mail for any reason

You don’t need an excuse to request an absentee ballot. You can vote by mail for any reason.

Remember to Sign Your Return Ballot

After completing your ballot, put it into the return envelope provided by the state. Sign the self-affirmation on the return envelope. Be sure that your signature matches your signature on file with the state! If you registered online or at the DMV, check the signature on your license. If the signature does not match, your ballot could be tossed and will not count.

How You Can Return Your Mail-in Ballot

By Mail

Your postage is prepaid.

By Courier

Return your ballot via commercial delivery services, such as FedEx or UPS (at your expense)

In Person

  • Local elections office
  • Drop box
  • Early voting locations
  • Polling place

Any designated person can drop off a ballot for you. You must fill out the authorization section found on the outside of the ballot envelope.

Look Up Ballot Drop Off Locations

Make Sure Your Mail-in Vote Counts

Click here to track your ballot. California offers electronic, barcode ballot tracking services so you can make sure your ballot gets counted.

Haven't used your ballot?

If you decide to vote in person rather than use your mail-in ballot, go to your polling place or early voting location and vote. To vote at a vote center, you do not need to bring your unused ballot. To vote at a polling place, you do need to bring your unused ballot to be "surrendered." If you do not bring your ballot, you will vote via provisional ballot.

Election Protection Hotline

The national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition was formed to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. Made up of more than 100 local, state and national partners, Election Protection works year-round to advance and defend the right to vote.

Call 866-OUR-VOTE if you need assistance.

More about voting in California

Find your polling place, ID laws, and more about voting for the first time below.


Voting Info for California First Time Voter Info