• I Voted StickersPermanent Vote by Mail, Military and Overseas Voters, Mailed Ballot Only Elections

Vote by Mail

Where's My Ballot? - Ballot Tracking

Track your Vote by Mail ballot—when it is mailed, received, and counted! Sign-up at WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov to receive automatic email, SMS (text), or voice call notifications about your ballot. More information can be found at Where's My Ballot? - Ballot Tracking.

Overview

If you are not able to vote at your polling place on Election Day, or simply prefer the convenience of voting by mail, you may apply for a Vote by Mail ballot

California law allows official ballots to be mailed to Vote by Mail voters beginning 29 days before an election.

Permanent Vote by Mail Voters

California law permits you to choose to become a Permanent Vote by Mail voter when you complete your Vote by Mail application or re-register to vote.

When You Request Permanent Vote by Mail Status

You will be added to the list of voters who are automatically sent an official ballot for future elections.

Loss of Vote by Mail Voter Status

You will remain on the list of Permanent Vote by Mail voters unless you fail to return your Vote by Mail ballot for 4 consecutive statewide general elections.

In such cases, voters will:

Top

Voters in Mailed Ballot Precincts

In any given election, registered voters may reside within a precinct that contains a unique set of districts that are distinct from surrounding precincts. There may be relatively few registered voters residing in that precinct.

If a precinct contains less than 250 registered voters, California law allows the Registrar of Voters Office to provide:

  • Vote by Mail ballot to each voter.
  • Notice that there will be no polling place for that precinct.

    The notice must inform voters of the 2 nearest polling places, in the event the voter wishes to return the ballot in person on Election Day.

Return postage is prepaid by the Registrar of Voters Office.

Top

Information For Voters Who Are:

  • Temporarily Living Overseas
  • Indefinitely Living Overseas
  • In the Military (including eligible spouses and dependents)

Information for Military and Overseas Voters

Top

To Become a Vote By Mail Voter

All completed applications must be mailed, faxed, or returned in person to the Registrar of Voters office.

  • Complete the County of Sonoma Application
  • or, Remove and complete the application printed on the back cover of the County Voter Information Guide that was mailed to you.
  • or, Write a Letter and include the following information:
    1. The Election for which you are requesting a ballot
    2. Your Name
    3. Sonoma County Residence Address
    4. Mailing Address (if different)
    5. Your Signature
  • or, Apply In Person at the Registrar of Voters Office

    You may obtain and complete an application form at the Registrar of Voters Office.

    You will receive your ballot before you leave.

    Once you receive your ballot, you may:

    • Vote your ballot at the Registrar of Voters Office.
    • Take it with you and return it by mail using the prepaid postage envelope
  • or, Send Someone on Your Behalf to the Registrar of Voters Office

    If you are unable to personally deliver your Vote by Mail application, you may choose to send an eligible representative (must be 16 years of age or older) to deliver your completed application form for you. Your qualified representative mus be one of the following:

    • Spouse
    • Child
    • Parent
    • Grandparent
    • Grandchild
    • Sibling
    • Person residing in your same household

    The representative will be given your Vote by Mail ballot to deliver back to you.

  • or, Visit California Secretary of State: Apply to Vote By Mail to print an application.
    • Carefully read and complete an application form.
    • Return the completed application to the Registrar of Voters Office

Top

Where's My Ballot? - Ballot Tracking

Tracking your Vote by Mail ballot—when it is mailed, received, and counted—has never been easier. Sonoma County voters can now track and receive notifications on the status of their vote-by-mail ballot. Powered by BallotTrax, Where’s My Ballot? lets voters know where their ballot is, and its status, every step of the way.

Sign-up at WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov to receive automatic email, SMS (text), or voice call notifications about your ballot.  

Voters who sign up for “Where’s My Ballot?” will receive automatic updates when:

  • The county elections office mails the voter’s ballot
  • The county has received the voter’s ballot
  • The county has counted the voter’s ballot
  • If there are any issues with the voter’s ballot
Voters who sign up for “Where’s My Ballot?” will also receive communications from their county elections office about important election deadlines and critical updates such as polling place changes.

Top

Deadline for Requesting a Vote by Mail Ballot

The last day to request a Vote by Mail ballot by mail is 7 days prior to an election, after which Vote by Mail ballots are available only by applying in person at the Registrar of Voters Office.

Top

Video - Voting and Returning a Vote by Mail Ballot

Voting a Vote by Mail Ballot

Voting Your Ballot

  • It is important to know how to properly mark your ballot. Carefully read your ballot, as it will tell you how many votes you may cast for each contest. Ballot reading machines “see” the marks you make and record your votes
  • Use a blue or black pen only – no other colored ink or pencils!
  • Marking more voting spaces than allowed is called an “overvote,” and none of your votes for that contest will be counted. Conversely, if you mark fewer voting spaces than allowed, it is an “undervote”. However all votes for that contest will be counted
  • You are not required to vote on every contest on your ballot
  • Do not sign or initial the ballot(s), make any stray marks, or attempt to erase/change a vote. If you make a mistake, contact the Registrar of Voters Office for Instructions

After Voting Your Ballot

  1. Insert the voted ballot(s) into the blue Vote by Mail envelope
  2. Sign and date the Oath under the security flap on the envelope
    All signatures on Vote by Mail ballots are verified; your ballot will not be counted if you do not sign the Oath 

Top

Returning a Vote by Mail Ballot

Vote by Mail ballots may be returned:

  • To the Registrar of Voters Office by mail 
    • Important: Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked before or on Election Day and delivered to the Registrar of Voters office via USPS or a bona fide private mail delivery company no later than 7 days after Election Day.
  • In person to the Registrar of Voters office, or any in-person voting location in Sonoma County on Election Day no later than 8:00 PM
  • To one of our 24 hour drop boxes up to Election Day.

Important InformationNote: All ballots must be returned in the blue Vote by Mail envelope that has been signed and dated by the voter. By law, the signature on the envelope must be verified against the signature on the voter’s registration card. You may sign your name in pen or pencil. 

If you are unable to personally return your Vote by Mail ballot, you may authorize any person to return your blue Vote by Mail envelope.

Top

In Person Voting Options

Vote by Mail voters may vote at in person at the Registrar of Voters Office up to 29 days before the election or at a polling place on Election Day.

A poll worker will ask you to surrender the ballot you received in the mail (turn it in to the poll worker) before issuing you a ballot at the polling place.

If you are unable to surrender your Vote by Mail ballot, you will be issued a provisional ballot. You will be given a reference number to check to see if your provisional ballot was counted. Provisional ballots are counted after Vote by Mail ballots are processed, so it may take several weeks for the information.

Top

Emergency Vote by Mail Ballots

If in the final 7 days before Election Day a voter finds they are unable to vote in person due to illness or disability resulting from confinement to a hospital or nursing home, or if a voter is confined to their home, or otherwise absent from their voting precinct on Election Day, a voter may request an Emergency Vote by Mail Ballot.  The voter must make request in writing, signed under penalty of perjury, authorizing a representative to pick up the voter’s ballot, and return the ballot to the voter.  The voter’s authorized representative will receive the voter’s ballot after presenting the signed statement to the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office at 435 Fiscal Drive in Santa Rosa, during normal business hours of 8a.m.-5p.m., Pacific Time.

The voter shall mark the ballot, place it in the identification envelope, fill out and sign the envelope and return the ballot, personally or through the authorized representative, to the Registrar of Voters Office or to any polling place or vote center within Sonoma County before the close of the polls.

If you have questions about Emergency Vote by Mail Ballots, contact our office at (707) 565-6800, or email rov-absentee@sonoma-county.org.

Top

Signature Missing or Mismatched

Signature Missing

If you did not sign your envelope, we cannot count your ballot without your signature. You should receive an Unsigned Ballot Statement in the mail. You may complete the statement and return it in the envelope provided, or come into the Registrar of Voters office and sign your ballot envelope. Read the instructions carefully before completing the statement. Failure to follow the instructions may cause your ballot not to be counted. 

Important You must complete and return the form according to the instructions in order to have your ballot counted. If you did not receive, or have lost your Unsigned Ballot Statement, print this form, sign it, and return it according to the instructions, or call our office.  Unsigned Ballot Statement (PDF: 75 kB)

Signature Mismatch

If the signature on your Vote by Mail envelope does not match the signature on file with the Registrar of Voters office, you should receive Signature Verification Statement in the mail. You may complete the statement and return it in the envelope provided, or come into the Registrar of Voters office and verify your signature. Read the instructions carefully before completing the statement. Failure to follow the instructions may cause your ballot not to be counted.

Important You must  complete and return the form according to the instructions in order to have your ballot counted. If you did not receive, or have lost your Signature Verification Statement, print this form, sign it, and return it according to the instructions, or call our office. 

Top

Contact Information

Deva Marie Proto

County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Registrar of Voters

Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Contact us by Phone
Addresses

Registrar of Voters

435 Fiscal Drive

Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.4657357, -122.7251823
Mailing Address
PO Box 11485
Santa Rosa, CA 95406-1485

Vote by Mail Forms

Download Forms