Santa Rosa, CA – September 7, 2021 – The Sonoma County Registrar of Voters reminds voters that the deadline to return vote-by-mail ballots for the Sept. 14, California Gubernatorial Recall Election is only days away. Voters whose ballots are turned in as soon as possible will have their votes included in the first batch of election results released shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night.
Due to a new state law (SB 29) and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, every active, registered voter was mailed a ballot in this election regardless of whether they had previously signed up to vote that way. However, voters who wish to vote in person will still be able to do so by going to their assigned polling place on Sept. 14 (Election Day) between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. PT (see below for details).
Returning Vote-by-Mail Ballots
Voters who have outstanding vote-by-mail ballots may return them 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 and received at the Registrar of Voters Office by Sept. 21 to be counted.
- Deposit them at one of the 20 ballot drop boxes located throughout the county. All the drop boxes are open 24-hours-a-day-seven-days-a-week until 8 p.m. on Election Day, when teams of elections staff will lock and close them. For a list and map of all ballot drop boxes in Sonoma County, please visit <a>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. For a list and map of all polling places in Sonoma County, please visit <a>sonomacounty.ca.gov/where-to-vote.
Voters who want to track their ballot are encouraged to sign up for Where’s My Ballot? at <a>california.ballottrax.net/voter/. Where’s My Ballot? is a service that sends text, email, or voice message notifications whenever there is a status update to a person’s ballot, such as when it is mailed out, received and signature verified.
Voting at the Polls
For voters who wish to vote in person, there will be 69 polling places open throughout Sonoma County on Sept. 14 (Election Day) between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. However, unlike the last countywide election in November 2020, each voter will be assigned to a single polling place. A voter who wishes to cast a regular ballot in-person must:
- Go to the polling place specifically assigned to them. Voters may look up their polling place online by going to <a>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 <a>sonomacounty.ca.gov/where-to-vote.
Note: There are a small number of voters in so-called “mailed ballot” precincts who are not assigned to any polling place. These voters may still vote at a polling place on Election Day, but they will probably have to vote a provisional ballot.
- Bring and hand in the vote-by-mail ballot sent to them.
If voters do not go to the polling place assigned to them, or they do not bring their vote-by-mail ballot with them to the polling place, they will most likely have to vote by a provisional ballot, which will not be counted until after election night. The provisional ballot will be counted 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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. PT on weekdays) but will 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 follow county facility health guidelines, such as wearing a mask.