Skip to Content

General Information

County Voter Information Guide

The County Voter Information Guide produced by the Registrar of Voters office contains information on local measures and candidates running to represent local districts. The Secretary of State publishes a Voter Information Guide that includes information on statewide ballot propositions and candidates running for statewide or nationwide office (e.g. Governor or President, respectively).

If you are registered to vote, you will be mailed a County Voter Information Guide approximately three weeks prior to an election. Because mailing lists are created from current registered voter lists, you should confirm you are registered by calling the Registrar of Voters office or checking the Registered Voter Lookup to ensure you will be included in a County Voter Information Guide mailing.

Important: The registration deadline is 15 days before an election; do not wait to receive a County Voter Information Guide in the mail as a way to verify you are registered. If you wait, you could discover you are not registered and have missed the deadline to register for an upcoming election. 

The County Voter Information Guide Contains:

  • The date of the election
  • A copy of the ballot you will receive in the mail (or at a Vote Center if you vote in person)
  • Information about local candidates and measures
  • A list of all Vote Center locations and hours
  • A Vote by Mail ballot application

Tip:  Mark your choices in the County Voter Information Guide before you go to the polls, and use it as a guide when you vote your official ballot.

Note:  If you need assistance marking your official ballot, California law permits up to two people of your choice to assist you (can not be your employer, union representative, or an agent of your employer or union).

Assistance at the Polls

Did You Know? California law allows you to bring up to 2 individuals of your choice with you to the polls to assist you. However, they may not be your employer or an agent of your union.

Otra Asistencia

¿Sabía que la ley de California le permite llevar hasta 2 personas de su elección para ayudarle en los lugares de votación? Sin embargo, no pueden ser ni su empleador ni un representante de su sindicato.


បតអ្ើកនដ្ងឹបទ? ច្ាបរដ្ California អ្នុញ្ញាតឱបយអ្កយកបុគលរ តដ្ល 2 កតារជបម្រើសរបស់អ្នកជារួយអ្នកបៅកដនលងប ោះបនោតបដ្របបីជយអ្នក។ ប ោះជាយា៉ាង្កបោយ ពួកបគអាច្រិនដរនជានបយាជក ឬជាភាោកងារននស ជីពរបស់អ្នក។


Alam mo ba?Ang batas ng California ay nagpapahintulot sa iyo na magsama sa mga botohan ng hanggang 2 taong pinili mo upang tulungan ka. Gayunman, sila ay hindi maaaring ang iyong pinagtatrabahuhan o isang ahente ng iyong unyon.


Quý vị có đã biết? Luật California cho phép quý vị dẫn theo tối đa 2 người mà quý vị chọn đến nơi bỏ phiếu để hỗ trợ quý vị. Tuy nhiên, họ không thể là chủ hãng của quý vị hoặc người đại diện cho nghiệp đoàn của quý vị.

Marking Your Ballot

It is important to know how to properly mark your ballot. Ballot counting machines "see" the marks you make and record your votes.

  • If you vote at the polls, use the pen provided by poll workers
  • If you vote by mail, you may use a blue or black pen - no other colored ink or pencil!
  • Carefully read your ballot, as it will tell you how many votes you may cast for each contest.

Important: Do not sign or initial the ballot(s), make any stray marks, or attempt to erase a vote if you make a mistake, as your ballot may then need to be duplicated in order to count.


  • Marking more voting spaces than allowed is called an "overvote," and none of your votes for that contest will be counted.


  • If you mark fewer voting spaces than allowed, it is an "undervote," and all votes for that contest will be counted. You are not required to vote on every contest on your ballot.

Voting for Write-in Candidates

Voters may decide to vote for someone who does not appear on the ballot by writing that candidate's name in the space provided for a particular contest. A list of qualified write-in candidates is provided at every polling place.

  • There are specific requirements that a candidate must satisfy to become qualified and thus eligible to receive votes.
  • Note: Votes for write-in candidates will be counted only if the person is a qualified write-in candidate.

If You Recently Moved

More Than 15 Days Before the Election

  • You can update your registration online or fill out a paper form that is available at our office, post offices, public libraries, and various other government offices. You can also call the Registrar of Voters Office and we will mail you a form.

Less Than 15 Days Before the Election

  • You can still register and vote but you must do so in person at the Registrar of Voters Office or at any open Vote Center. This is called "conditional voter registration" or, informally, "same-day registration."


Voting in Person

You may vote at a Vote Center on Election Day during the hours of 7:00 AM and 8:00 PM. In addition, in many elections there will be some Vote Centers open multiple days prior to Election Day. Days/hours will vary. Vote Center locations and hours for the next election will be posted at Where to Vote or Drop Off Your Ballot once that information is available (typically at least 40 days before Election Day).

Voting by Mail 

Under current law, all registered voters in California automatically receive a ballot in the mail. However, voters can still vote in person at a Vote Center if they choose (see above).

Vote-by-Mail Ballots returned by hand must be dropped off at any Official Ballot Drop Box or Vote Center in Sonoma County -- or at the Registrar of Voters Office -- no later than 8:00 PM on Election Day.

Vote-by-Mail Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by the Registrar of Voters Office via USPS or a bona fide private mail delivery company no later than seven days after Election Day.

Important: Do not forget to sign and date the identification envelope so your ballot can count.