Mon. 3/2: “My dog ate my ballot” & other FAQs you can use for voting in CA.

Image by Fran__ from Pixabay

In CA, every single qualified voter is welcome at the polls tomorrow!

Q: So, what is a “qualified voter” anyway?

Q: I think I was registered to vote in my high school gym, but I’m not sure. How do I find out?

For Ventura County, click here or call (805) 654-2781. For the rest of CA, click here.

Q: OK, I’m “qualified” but I didn’t registered, or I did register, but I’ve moved since high school. Is it too late to vote on Tuesday? 

Nope. You can REGISTER and VOTE at the Elections Division in Ventura County today during business hours (8-5) or tomorrow, Election Day, (7 am – 8 pm). The Elections office is located at 800 S. Victoria Ave.

map to county.jpeg

If you don’t live around here, click here for a list of offices by county.

Q: Can I do the same thing at my local polling place? I can probably walk there from my home.

Yes. Walk into your local polling place between 7 am and 8 pm and you will be issued a “CONDITIONAL” ballot. If you’re not positive where your assigned polling place is, go here and type in your address. It will give you its address and directions on how to get there.

Q: “Conditional” – What does that mean? That my vote might not be counted?

No. The county had a Feb. 18th deadline to receive registrations, so they could print up their “rosters“, those monster books with voter names and addresses, in time for Election Day. If your registration was received after that deadline or you’re registering right now, you won’t be on a roster, because time travel still isn’t real, but that doesn’t mean you can’t vote. It just means that election staff needs to verify your registration information before they process your ballot. Who needs a “CONDITIONAL” ballot?

  • First time voters who have never registered or whose registration came in after the Feb. 18th deadline.
  • Voters who’ve moved within the county, but didn’t re-register with their new address.
  • Voters who registered to vote in another county, and now live in Ventura County.
  • Voters who want to re-register to vote for a different political party. (This takes place only at the primaries.)
  • Voters who are CA residents but can’t make it back to their home counties in time to vote. Their votes will only count for issues that affect all counties.

Q: My dog ate my Vote-by-Mail ballot. How do I get another one?

  • If your dog just ate the tasty envelope, take the surviving innards to the polling place and they’ll give you another envelope.
  • If your ballot was damaged too, or you voted for someone who’s no longer in the running (Buttigeig, Steyer, Klobuchar, we’re looking at you!), bring it in to be “surrendered”, and they’ll give you a new ballot.
  • If your ballot was lost, forgotten at home or completely digested, you’ll be given a “PROVISIONAL” ballot. As soon as the elections division is sure no one else is coming in with a slimy, chewed-up ballot with your name on it, your vote will be processed.

Q: I just registered and I don’t have a sample ballot to look at. How do I know what’s going to be on my ballot?

Go here again and re-type in your address. This time, after your precinct information shows up, click on “BALLOT INFORMATION.” Put in your preferred political party and it will list every candidate and proposition that will appear on your ballot.

Q: Do I need to bring ID to the polling place?

Most of the time, no. However, if this is your first time voting and your registration was missing your CA driver’s license #, CA ID # or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number, you should bring some ID with you. However, if you forget, you can still vote. You’ll get a “PROVISIONAL” ballot and when the elections division verifies your ID, your vote will be processed.

(ID can include your passport, driver license, official state identification card, or student identification card showing your name and photograph. A copy of a recent utility bill, the sample ballot booklet you received from your county elections office or another document sent to you by a government agency are also examples of acceptable forms of identification. Complete list here.)

Q: I forgot to mail my Vote-by-mail ballot. Can I just drop it off at any random CA polling place?

Yes. Just don’t forget to sign it. If you’re dropping off someone else’s ballot, be sure they sign it AND fill out the “I authorize this person to return by ballot.” The county checks signatures…

envelope back

Vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered must be delivered no later than 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Vote-by-mail ballots that are mailed must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 3 days after Election Day.

Q: OMG, I have been busy just trying to keep above water. How do I know who or what to vote for?

That’s easy. Find out who your people trust here. They’ve been busy studying the candidates and have great recommendations for you. Remember, you don’t have to vote for every candidate or issue. Even for president. But remember, you can actually make an appointment to talk to your congressperson, your state senator and your state assemblymember about issues that are important to you. Pick one who you think will listen.

Q: When I registered to vote, I couldn’t decide which party to put down and/or I decided they were all evil. What kind of ballot will I get?

You are now a “NO PARTY PREFERENCE” (NPP) voter, part of the second largest voting block behind Democrats.

  • NPP Ballot – When you get to the polling place, you can have a (NPP) ballot, which will include have every propositions and candidate EXCEPT president.
  • NPP Presidential Ballot – some parties will allow NPP voters to request their ballots, complete with their presidential candidates, at the polling desk. These include the:
    • Democratic Party
    • American Independent Party
    • Libertarian Party
  • But I want to vote for the others! – Some parties don’t allow non-party members to vote for their presidential candidates in the primaries. You will need to re-register to comply with their requirements. The poll worker will  give you a “CONDITIONAL BALLOT” to vote for the following:
    • Republican
    • Green Party
    • Peace and Freedom party


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