SACRAMENTO May 7, 2018 – California voters who choose to vote by mail can expect to see their ballots begin arriving in the coming days. May 7 marks the beginning of the vote-by-mail period for California’s June 5, 2018 Statewide Direct Primary Election.
“Voting by mail has become increasingly popular in California,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “The convenience of voting by mail allows millions of Californians to fill out their ballots at home and save a trip to the polls on Election Day. Ballots will be arriving in voters’ mailboxes in the coming days. Now is the time for Californians to remind themselves of the rules for voting by mail. The Secretary of State’s has released a new video to help Californians cast their vote-by-mail ballots.”
For the past six statewide elections in California, a majority of the votes cast were through vote-by-mail ballots. Click here to view historical California vote-by-mail statistics.
Tips for Vote-by-Mail Voters:
  • If you’re not sure of your registration status, visit the Secretary of State’s My Voter Status tool at: You can also use this tool to check the status of your vote-by-mail ballot once it has been received by county elections officials.
  • If you’ve registered to vote by mail, but believe you have not received your ballot, contact your county elections office.
  • Voters can drop off their vote-by-mail ballots at any polling place in their county on Election Day.
  • Before returning your ballot, you must remember to sign the return envelope provided with your vote-by-mail ballot.
  • Ballots that are returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day, and received by county elections officials no later than three days after the election.
County elections officials began mailing ballots to military and overseas voters on April 6, 2018.
NOTE: The Secretary of State’s office does not issue, receive, or count ballots. Elections officials in each of California’s 58 counties print, process, and count ballots.
Election Changes in Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, and San Mateo Counties
Every registered voter in Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, and San Mateo counties will automatically receive a vote-by-mail ballot. This is part of the Voter’s Choice Act, which has been adopted by these five counties. Voters in these counties will be able to return their ballot via mail or at any ballot drop box located in their county. Voters in these counties will also have the option to vote in person at any vote center. Vote centers will be open for 11 days up to and including Election Day. Voters who lose their ballots or make a mistake while marking their ballot can receive a new replacement ballot at any vote center in their county.