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? You can get a replacement in the following ways:
- Come to our office or go to a Vote Center
- Request a replacement ballot be mailed to you by printing and filling out the California Replacement Vote-by-Mail Ballot Form (for Spanish version, click here), and mailing it to PO Box 11485, Santa Rosa, CA 95406.
- Our office must receive this application seven or more days before the election. If the application is received six or fewer days before the election, no replacement ballot will be mailed, even if the application was postmarked seven or more days before the election.
- We cannot accept the form by fax or by email (even if a scan or picture of the form is included).
- Have somebody pick up a replacement ballot for you:
- This service is only available at our office, not at Vote Centers
- The person picking up the ballot 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 the voter
In the hospital? Have a last-minute emergency?
- Unlike the California Replacement Vote-by-Mail Ballot Form (in Spanish), the Application to Provide Vote-by-Mail Ballot to Representative (in Spanish) can be submitted through Election Day. It must be submitted in person at the Registrar of Voters Office. The Vote-by-Mail ballot itself must still be either postmarked or dropped off at an Official Ballot Drop Box or Vote Center by 8 p.m. Pacific Time on Election Day.
No way to print out these forms? You can:
- Call and request we mail you the form
- Provide a handwritten note instead with the same verbiage provided on the form applicable to your situation.
Note: If authorizing someone to pick up a ballot for you, the representative must acknowledge in writing that they have received your ballot and the application will be retained by our office. Your signature, as the voter, will be compared to your signature(s) on file in your voter registration record before the representative will be allowed to pick up your ballot.
We are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, Mondays through Fridays (excluding County holidays).
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 you did not receive or have lost your Unsigned Ballot Statement (Spanish), you can print it online.
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.
If you did not receive or have lost your Signature Verification Statement (Spanish), you can print it online.
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.
To find a Vote Center near you, take a look at our list and/or map of Vote Centers for the latest/current/upcoming election.
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)