Vote by Mail
- Where's My Ballot? Ballot Tracking
- Voting and Returning Your Vote-by-Mail Ballot
- Requesting a Replacement Vote-by-Mail Ballot
- Vote-by-Mail Ballot Signature Issues
- In-Person Voting Options
- Military and Overseas Voters
- Every active, registered voter in California will be mailed an official ballot prior to each election (pursuant to California Assembly Bill No. 37, signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 27, 2021).
- Vote-by-mail ballots will begin to go out 29 days before each election.
- Voters also have the option to vote in person at Vote Centers beginning 10 days before Election Day in major elections. View the list of Vote Centers for the latest/current/upcoming election.
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.
Voting and Returning Your Vote-by-Mail Ballot
Voting Your Vote-by-Mail 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
- Insert the voted ballot(s) into the blue Vote-by-Mail envelope
- 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
Returning Your 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 p.m. Pacific Time
- To one of our 24-hour Official Ballot Drop Boxes up to 8 p.m. Pacific Time on Election Day. View the list of Official Ballot Drop Boxes for the latest/current/upcoming election.
Note: 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.
Below is a video that summarizes the various ways you can return your Vote-by-Mail ballot.
Requesting a Replacement Vote-by-Mail Ballot
Did your Vote-by-Mail ballot never arrive? Did you lose it? Did your pet eat it?
No problem! You can get a replacement. Starting 29 days before an election, you can do one of the following:
- Come to our office or go to a Vote Center on or before Election Day (to view Vote Center locations and dates/times they are open, check your County Voter Information Guide, go to the appropriate Elections page, or call/email our office)
- Print, fill out, and sign a California Replacement Vote-by-Mail Ballot Form (for Spanish version, click here), and return it to us via one of the three methods below
Have an emergency? Too busy to pick up a replacement?
Also no problem! You can request that somebody else pick up a replacement Vote-by-Mail ballot for you. This procedure is available starting 29 days before an election through Election Day itself, and is most commonly used when a voter:
- never received their original Vote-by-Mail ballot
- lost or threw out their original Vote-by-Mail ballot (intentionally or accidentally)
- spoiled or damaged their original Vote-by-Mail ballot
- has unexpectedly fallen ill or been hospitalized and doesn't have access to their original Vote-by-Mail ballot
Such requests can only be made in person at the Registrar of Voters Office (not Vote Centers) by an individual you have designated to be your representative. Your representative must bring along an Application to Provide Vote-by-Mail Ballot to Representative (for Spanish version, click here) that has been printed, filled out, and signed by you the voter.
No way to print out a form?
Once again, no problem! Just let us know and we can mail you one. Or, you can handwrite a note that includes the same verbiage on the applicable form.
Vote-by-Mail Ballot Signature Issues
If you did not sign your Vote-by-Mail ballot envelope, we cannot count your ballot. You should receive an Unsigned Ballot Statement (Spanish) in the mail. Please complete the statement and return it in the postage-paid return envelope provided. Be sure to read the instructions carefully. Failure to follow the instructions may cause your ballot to not be counted. Alternatively, you can go to the Registrar of Voters Office and sign your ballot envelope.
If the signature on your Vote-by-Mail envelope does not match the signature in your voter file, we cannot count your ballot. You should receive a Signature Verification Statement (Spanish) in the mail. Please complete the statement and return it in the postage-paid return envelope provided. Failure to follow the instructions may cause your ballot to not be counted. If you want to know why we determined your signatures didn't match, you can come into the Registrar of Voters Office and view them.
In-Person Voting Options
Vote-by-Mail voters may vote in person at the Registrar of Voters Office starting 29 days before Election Day, or at a Vote Center during the early voting period or on Election Day.
Military and Overseas Voters
Please visit our Uniformed and Overseas Citizens page for voting information for:
- American citizens who are in the military (and/or eligible spouses/dependents)
- American citizens residing abroad (either temporarily or indefinitely)