may vote by mail?
Where can I obtain an application for
a vote by mail ballot?
When must I apply for a vote by mail ballot?
What information must be included in
When will my vote by mail ballot be mailed?
How do I vote my ballot?
How do I return a vote by mail ballot?
Do I have to sign the vote by mail ballot return envelope?
When must I return the voted ballot?
If I lose the vote by mail ballot sent
to me, can I get another one?
Can I give my voted mail ballot
to someone else to return for me?
Can I apply to be a permanent vote by mail voter?
I will be out of the country on election
day. Can I apply earlier than the normal 29 days?
Can I change my mind and still vote
at my regular polling place?
How are vote by mail ballots counted?
Are there circumstances under which
a voter can be required to vote by mail?
Who may vote by mail?
Any registered voter may vote by mail ballot. (Elections
can I obtain an application for a vote by mail ballot?
You must apply in writing to Monterey County Elections (Elections
Code 3001). Fill out this form,
sign and mail or call 831-796-1499.
for a vote by mail ballot is also included in the sample ballot and
voter information pamphlet sent to you by the county elections official
prior to each election (Elections Code 3022).
must I apply for a vote by mail ballot?
Vote by mail ballot applications are processed in the period 29-7 days prior
to an election (Elections Code 3001). You may submit an application
prior to this time, but the Elections Office will hold it until
the 29th day before the election.
official accepts applications received less than 7 days prior to
an election for 'pick-up' in the Elections Office only.
If during the
final week before an election you become ill or disabled or for
some unforeseen reason find that you will be away from your polling
place on election day, you may request (in writing and signed under
penalty of perjury) that an absentee ballot be delivered to you.
You may authorize another person to bring you the ballot and to
return it to the elections officials after you have voted it (Elections
information must be included in my application?
Your application must include your printed name, your residence
address (in the county where you are applying for the vote by mail ballot ),
the address you want the vote by mail ballot sent to, and the date and
name of the election you are applying for (e.g. November 4, 2008
General Election). In addition, you must sign and date your application
(Elections Code 3006).
When will my vote by mail ballot be mailed?
According to California Elections Code, vote by mail ballots can be mailed no sooner than 29 days before the election. If the 29th day is a holiday, vote by mail ballots will be mailed the next business day. According to the USPS, ballots will take 3 to 9 days to reach voters.
do I vote my ballot?
Follow the instructions provided by the Elections Office. Failure
to complete your ballot correctly could jeopardize your vote. If
you have any questions, please call the Elections Office at 831-796-1499.
You will receive
a return envelope to sign and return the ballot. You must use the
envelope provided. (Elections Code 3010). Do not place ballots for
another person in your envelope!
do I return a vote by mail ballot?
There are two ways a voter can return their ballot:
- By mail (please be aware that postage may vary from one election to another, depending on the weight of the envelope. Please make sure to verify the amount of postage required by reading the instructions enclosed with your ballot and return envelope.
Voters who live in a mail ballot precinct will not need to afix postage and their blue return envelope will say “NO POSTAGE NECESSARY IF MAILED IN THE UNITED STATES”)
- Drop off the voted ballot in person to any of the following locations:
- Elections Office
- Some City Halls in Monterey County (this service is not provided for all elections. Please verify that this service is available by calling Monterey County Elections at 796-1499)
- Any polling place in Monterey County on Election Day (ballot must be returned to the County from which it was issued, voters CANNOT drop their ballot off in another county to be forwarded to our office).
However, any voter because of illness or physical disability is unable to return the voted ballot, may designate their spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, or a person residing in the same household to return the voted ballot for them. Please have the voter complete the flap on the return Vote by Mail Ballot envelope, indicating who will return that ballot. Voter must sign. See below.
I have to sign the vote by mail ballot return envelope?
Yes. The Elections Office, by comparing this signature to the signature
on your voter registration card, can determine that you are the
authorized voter. This is an important protection for you.
Your signature does not allow anyone to determine how you voted.
To preserve the secrecy of your ballot, once the signature comparison
is made, the ballot is separated from the envelope and the ballot
becomes as anonymous and secret as any other ballot.
If you omit
any of the required information from your vote by mail ballot application,
the Elections Office will send you a ballot, but will also include
a notice that the missing information must be provided in order
for the ballot to be counted (Elections Code 3009 and 3019).
must I return the voted ballot?
Vote By Mail
ballots may be returned by mail prior to the election or delivered
to any polling place in Monterey County on election day.
Vote By mail ballots that are mailed must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by Monterey County Elections no later than 3 days after Election Day. If you are not sure your vote by mail ballot will arrive in time if mailed, bring it to any polling place in our county between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
I lose the vote by mail ballot sent to me, can I get another one?
Yes. However, you must sign a statement under penalty of perjury
that you have lost or did not receive the first vote by mail ballot
(Elections Code 3014). The Elections Office maintains a record of
each request, and provides a list of these requests to the polling
place to ensure that each voter casts only one ballot. If you vote
twice by vote by mail ballot, even if by mistake, neither ballot will
be counted (Elections Code 3013 and 3014).
I give my voted ballot to someone else to return for me?
If you are ill, or have a physical disability, you may designate
a relative (spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother,
sister or household member) to return your voted ballot for you.
Your relative may return it in person to the elections official
or to a polling place in your county, or may place it in the mail
for return to the elections official. Contact Monterey County Elections
at absentee@MontereyCountyElections.us> for more information
(Elections Code 3017).
I have to apply for a vote by mail ballot for each election?
No. Anyone may apply for "permanent vote by mail" status.
Permanent vote by mail voters are automatically sent a vote by mail ballot
for every election. To become a permanent vote by mail voter, you must
complete and mark the 'Vote by Mail' box on the vote by mail application
on this website, the application on your voters pamphlet or application
mailed to you. (Elections Code 3201).
Permanent vote by mail
voters will retain permanent status as long as he/she casts a ballot
in all statewide elections (Elections Code 3206). If a permanent
vote by mail voter fails to cast a ballot in a statewide election, he
or she will be removed from the permanent vote by mail voter list and
will need to reapply in order to have this status restored.
will be out of the country for an election and am concerned that
the mail is slow and I may not receive my vote by mail ballot in time
to complete it and return it by election day. Is there any way I
can apply earlier than the normal 29 days?
Yes. If you are in the military or temporarily living overseas you
may qualify as a "special absentee voter." Special absentee
ballot applications may be processed by the elections official as
many as 60 days prior to an election (Elections Code 3103).
for a special absentee ballot for a primary election is also good
for the subsequent general election (Elections Code 3104).
I request a vote by mail ballot, can I change my mind and still vote
at my regular polling place?
Yes, but you must bring your unvoted vote by mail ballot and give it
to the polling place worker before voting a regular ballot (Elections
If you are unable
to surrender your vote by mail ballot, however, you may still cast a
"provisional" ballot at your polling place which will
not be counted until it can be determined that you have not also
voted by mail ballot (Elections Code 3016 and 14310).
are vote by mail ballots counted?
In general, vote by mail ballots are counted the same as regular ballots
cast at a polling place. Once it is determined that the signature
and address on the vote by mail ballot return envelope matches the signature
and address of the voter on his or her registration form, the ballot
and the envelope are separated. The ballot is then placed anonymously
with other ballots in order to preserve the voter's right to secrecy. If the right of a voter to cast a vote by mail
ballot is challenged, and that challenge is upheld, the ballot remains
in the envelope, is not counted, and the reason is indicated on
the envelope (Elections Code 15105).
The first results
you are likely to hear reported on election night usually reflect
votes cast on vote by mail ballots. These, however, are not complete
totals and reflect only those vote by mail ballots returned prior to
election day. Those ballots received prior to election day can be
"processed" (i.e. check the signature, etc.) as many as
10 business days prior to an election (Elections Code 15101). These ballots
are then ready to be counted as soon as the polls close on election
day. Totals from these vote by mail ballots are reported first in the
election night returns.
However, a substantial
number of additional vote by mail ballots are returned on election day
either to the polling place or to the Monterey County Elections
Office (Elections Code 3017 and 3020). These ballots, because they
require the extra handling of checking the voter's signature, to
ensure that the voter did not also vote at the polling place, are
usually the last ballots counted, and are not likely to be reported
in the vote totals until several days after the election.
there circumstances under which a voter can be required to vote
Yes, there are two circumstances under which a voter can be required
to vote by mail.
- First, if
an election precinct has fewer than 250 registered voters on the
88th day prior to an election, that precinct can be declared by
the elections official to be a "mail ballot precinct"
and all voters in that precinct will automatically be sent absentee
ballots (Elections Code 3005). This is usually a very small number
- Second, certain
elections can be declared by the governing board to be "all
mail ballot elections". In this case, all voters in the election
will receive a ballot in the mail. A return postage paid envelope
will be mailed with the ballot materials. The types of elections
which can be conducted by mail are very limited, generally only
applying to very small elections or elections in specified special
districts throughout the state (Elections Code 4000).