How do I cast an absentee ballot in
the November 1996 Election?

If you are unable to make it to your polling place on Election Day you can still cast a ballot. Since 1978, the California Elections Code allows for any registered voter, regardless of the reason, to vote by mail, also referred to as casting an "absentee" ballot. In order to vote by mail, you must request the ballot in writing from your county Registrar of Voters office, and most counties accept fax requests. If you have received the sample ballot mailed by the County Elections office, you can use the form printed on the back cover. Otherwise, simply write a request yourself including the following information:

County Elections offices will accept absentee ballot requests until October 29th.

Once you have received your ballot and voted, make sure to sign the envelope provided with the ballot. You are responsible for paying the postage to mail the ballot back to the county.

Your absentee ballot must be received by your County Elections office before the close of polls on Election Day--8 pm. You may return the ballot by mail, walk it into the county elections office yourself or return the ballot to your precinct's polls. Only under very specific circumstances may your ballot be returned by someone else. If you are considering having someone else return your absentee ballot, first call your County Elections office to find out what is required and if your circumstances qualify.

Other absentee voting resources:

Secretary of State's Guide to Absentee Voting provides in-depth information about the absentee voting process.

XBallot is a new site set up by former political consultants who have designed a way for you to create a personalized absentee ballot request letter. This service is quite handy, and the site designers have assured CVF that the information voters submit to generate the request letter will not be used for commercial purposes.


The California Online Voter Guide is
a project of the California Voter Foundation.