Santa Rosa, CA – August 16, 2021 – Sonoma County Registrar of Voters announced that vote-by-mail ballots for the Sept. 14 California Gubernatorial Recall Election will begin going out in the mail today and should arrive in voters’ mailboxes within three to 10 days.
Due to a new state law (SB 29) and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, every active, registered voter will be receiving a ballot in the mail in this election, regardless of whether they have signed up to vote that way in the past. However, voters who wish to vote in person will still be able to do so by going to their assigned polling place on Election Day (see below for details).
Also starting today, voters who need or want their vote-by-mail ballots right away may come to the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters office at 435 Fiscal Drive in Santa Rosa to pick them up. A voter may also authorize somebody else to pick up their ballot for them with a signed note.
Voting by mail or at the Registrar of Voters office:
Voters can return their vote-by-mail ballots in one of three ways:
- Send them back in the mail, no postage required. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day (Sept. 14) and received at the Registrar of Voters office by Sept. 21 in order to be counted.
- Deposit them at one of 20 ballot drop boxes installed throughout the county. Drop boxes will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week starting on Aug. 17 and closing at 8 p.m. on Election Day (Sept. 14). For a list and map of all ballot drop boxes, please visit sonomacounty.ca.gov/where-to-vote.
- Take them to any polling place between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Election Day (Sept. 14). For a list and map of all polling places, please visit sonomacounty.ca.gov/where-to-vote.
Voters are encouraged to return their vote-by-mail ballots early so their votes are included in the first batch of election results released shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Day. Voters are also urged to sign up for “Where’s My Ballot?” at california.ballottrax.net/voter/, a service that sends notifications whenever there is a status update to a person’s ballot, such as when it is mailed out, received and signature verified.
In the event that a voter never receives their ballot in the mail or needs a replacement, the last day to request a ballot be mailed to them is Sept. 7. After Sept. 7, requests for vote-by-mail ballots must be made in person by the voter at the Registrar of Voters office or by somebody with a signed note from the voter authorizing them to pick up their ballot for them.
Voting at the Polls:
In-person voting will be available on Election Day (Sept. 14) between the hours of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at more than 70 polling places throughout the county. However, unlike the last countywide election in November 2020, each voter will be assigned to a single polling place. A voter who wishes to vote by a regular ballot in-person must:
- Go to the polling place specifically assigned to them. Voters can look up their polling place online by going to sonomacounty.ca.gov/vote/ and clicking on the link Online County Voter Information Guide & Polling Place Lookup. Voters may also view a map and list of all polling places at sonomacounty.ca.gov/where-to-vote.
- Bring along and surrender the vote-by-mail ballot sent to them to the polling place.
If voters do not go to the polling place assigned to them, or they do not bring along their vote-by-mail ballot with them to the polling place, they will most likely have to vote a provisional ballot, which will not be counted until after Election Day once the individual’s eligibility to vote can be verified and it is confirmed they did not already vote in the election.
Any questions about the Sept. 14 California Gubernatorial Recall Election should be directed to the Registrar of Voters office by calling (707) 565-6800, emailing email@example.com, or visiting in person at 435 Fiscal Drive, Santa Rosa. The office is normally open regular business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays) but will be closed on Sept. 6 for Labor Day and have extended hours (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.) on Sept. 14 (Election Day). Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, anyone visiting the office should be prepared to wear a mask and follow county facility health guidelines.