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By Jui Sarwate                                             Follow East Palo Alto Today on
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October 6, 2020                            EPA Today Facebook page Follow epatoday on Twitter EPA Today Blog Icon



Graphic for track your mail in ballot

Graphic courtesy of Wheresmyballot.sos.ca.gov


Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020 but, for voters opting to receive and cast their ballots in a socially-distanced manner, the voting process could begin even earlier.

Mail-in voting began as a Civil War-era democratic method and since then Americans have benefited from the ability to vote via mail even before the concerns of the current Covid-19 pandemic. Persons with disabilities, voters working throughout Election Day, and students studying outside of their home states have all found the mail-in option a success in previous elections. Mail-in ballots may also be the best choice for those who feel anxiety around voting in-person at the polls.

In order to vote-by-mail, you should be registered to become a “permanent vote-by-mail voter,” which can be done when registering to vote. If you are marked as such, you should automatically receive your ballot by mail beginning 29 days before the elections in your district.

After you have received your ballot and have cast your vote, you have the option of mailing it to your county elections official with no payment for postage required. You may also return ballots to a polling place, return the ballot to your county elections official’s office or authorize someone else to return the ballot on your behalf.

Another option is to drop your ballot in one of the ballot drop-boxes in each county, which can be found here. Ballot drop-boxes could be heavily utilized in this upcoming general election due to general concern surrounding the misplacement or delay in the delivery of ballots.

Voters are reminded to confirm that they have signed the return envelopes of their completed ballots and that they have placed their ballots inside their return envelopes. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and must be received no later than ​17 days after Election Day. According to San Mateo County, completed ballots may be placed in any secure Ballot Drop Box location throughout the county beginning October 5, 2020 through 8 p.m. on Election Day (November 3).


Jui Sarwate contributes articles of special interest to East Palo Alto Today.