Don't wait, Vote Early!

How to Vote: Prepare. Return. Track.

Step 1) Prepare Your Ballot

  • Read all instructions carefully and completely before filling out your ballot.
  • Make your selections on the ballot using the color of ink noted in the instructions. Insert your completed ballot in the provided envelope.
  • Make sure you complete all of the required information on the exterior of the envelope and sign it in the designated signature box.
  • Make sure that your ballot is sealed and ready to go.

Watch: How to Vote by Mail in California

Step 2) Return Your Ballot

Select one of these options and submit your ballot!

A.) Send your vote-by-mail ballot in the mail by dropping it in your mailbox or dropping it off at any USPS mailing location/box. If returning by mail, your ballot must be postmarked on or before Election Day (11/3/2020) and received by your county elections office no later than 17 days after Election Day.

B.) Submit your vote-by-mail ballot in person at any vote center or drop-off location no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day (11/3/2020). Find your options here:

C.) You can ask someone to turn in your ballot for you. Anyone can submit your ballot for you as long as they are not paid. In order for your ballot to be counted, you must fill out the authorization section on the outside of the envelope, or else it will not be accepted.

D.) If you decide that you don’t want to use your vote-by-mail ballot and instead want to vote in person, you still have that option! Your county will have select vote centers that you can visit and vote. You need to take your vote-by-mail ballot with you and surrender it to the volunteers at the vote center. Upon surrendering your vote-by-mail ballot, they will give you a brand new one that you can use to vote at that location! If you do not have your vote-by-mail ballot, you can still vote by receiving a provisional ballot. To find where your closest vote center will be, go here:

Find:  Ballot Drop-Off Locations

Step 3) Track Your Ballot

Once you've returned your ballot, check your ballot's status and make sure it's on its way to being counted. (If you haven't received your ballot, find out where it is with this same link.) If you do not receive your mail-in ballot, you can vote in person at any vote center in your county (either on election day or before, as available). Explain that you did not receive your ballot request a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot is counted once their registration is confirmed.

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Join thousands of other Highlanders and make sure your voice is heard in every local, state, and federal election.




Voting by Mail: Safe. Easy. Convenient.

Check Your Mailbox

In response to COVID-19, the state of California is now a vote-by-mail state. This means that everyone will receive their ballot in the mail. Whether you are already registered to vote or this is your first time registering, you will automatically get your ballot in the mail. Even if you were never a vote-by-mail voter before, you will get your ballot in the mail. This is important to know because if you have been temporarily displaced due to COVID-19, and you are no longer residing in the address that you are registered with, then your ballot will go to the wrong address. Check to see what address you are registered with and if you need to change your address you can simply re-register at

Easy and Convenient

This might be the first time that you are voting-by-mail. Maybe you have never considered it, or you aren't sure about the process. Voting-by-mail is the absolute easiest way to vote. You get your ballot in the mail with plenty of time to carefully read about all of the candidates and measures in the comfort of your home. When complete, you can drop your ballot in the mail. You don't even need postage — it's already prepaid! Voting-by-mail is the best way to make sure you are making the most informed decision possible, and you don't even need to leave your home!



California Voter FAQ

Note: Although the online voter registration deadline has passed, you can still register to vote in person at any County Registrar of Voter's office or vote center.

  • With COVID-19 around will there even be an election this year?

    Yes! Even though we have all had to make huge adjustments in our lives because of COVID-19, the election in November is still happening. The state of California has issued an executive order that the state will now be a vote-by-mail state. This means that everyone who registers to vote will automatically receive their ballot by mail. Everyone who is already registered to vote will also automatically receive their ballot in the mail. We highly encourage you to check your voter registration status at and pay specific attention to the address you have listed. If you didn’t provide a specific mailing address, then your ballot will be sent to whatever address you registered with. If you registered with an address near UCR, and you have been temporarily displaced because of COVID-19, then your ballot will still go to that address but you won't be able to access it. 

    If you find that you need to make a change to your address to ensure you receive your ballot, you will need to re-register—it only takes a minute or two at

  • Am I eligible to register to vote?

    You can register to vote in California if you are:

    • A U.S. citizen and a resident of California.
    • 18 years of age or older on Election Day.
    • Not currently imprisoned or on parole for a felony conviction.
    • Not found by a court to be mentally incompetent to vote.

    Note: Online pre-registration is now available for eligible 16- and 17-year olds. California youth who pre-register to vote will have their registration become active once they turn 18-years-old.

  • Where can I register to vote?

    Registering to vote is super easy! Head over to The deadline to register to vote is October 19, 2020.

  • Where can I check to see if I am already registered?

    Use online tools provided by the California Secretary of State at to learn if you are registered to vote in California.

  • What is the difference between permanent address and mailing address?

    When you register to vote, you have the option of providing your home address and a mailing address. 

    • Home Address: This is the location you want your ballot to represent. This is likely your family's home. Whatever address you pick as your home address, your ballot will include measures specific to that area. Home address is also sometimes called a residence or permanent address.
    • Mailing Address: This is where you want your vote-by-mail ballot to go. You will also receive other information and documents about elections at this address. Home address and mailing address do not need to be the same. We HIGHLY encourage you to check your voter registration so you know what address you are registered with and you can ensure that you can still access that location to receive your ballot. 

    Whatever address you list you need to make sure that you include a complete address. If it is an apartment complex, for example, you need to include your apartment/room number. 

  • I had to move because of COVID-19, do I need to re-register?

    It depends. Your ballot is going to automatically go to whatever address you used to register. If you included a mailing address, it will go there. If you have been temporarily displaced because of COVID-19, you need to check your voter registration to see what address you registered with at Your ballot will go to that address and if you don’t live there anymore because of COVID-19 you will need to re-register to vote so that you can change your address to where you are currently located

  • Will there be polling places on the UCR Campus?

    Check back on this page for any updates about a vote center or drop-off location at UCR.
    To find the closest one to you, please visit:

  • Do I need to re-register if I change my surname or political party?

    Yes. If you legally change your name or wish to change your registered political party, you need to re-register to vote at

  • I still have questions. Who can I contact?

    For questions regarding voter engagement, contact the office of Student Life at 

  • Where can I drop off my ballot if I want to submit it myself?

    If you prefer to submit your vote-by-mail ballot in person, you can go to any vote center or drop off location an do so—it's easy! Go here to find your closest vote center or drop off location:

  • How can I find out where my ballot is?

    If you want to ensure that your ballot arrives safely and is counted, or you are curious about where it is — you can track your ballot! Go here for more info:

  • Do I have that option to vote in person?

    If you prefer to vote in person, you still have that option. You can go to any vote center in your county and vote. You need to take your vote-by-mail ballot with you and turn it in. By surrendering your ballot, you can receive a brand new one and vote at the vote center. If you lost your ballot, never received it, or don’t have it on you at that moment, you can still vote at that voting center with a provisional ballot. You can find the closest vote center to you here:

  • I missed the Oct. 19 voter registration deadline. What can I do?

    If you miss the Oct. 19 deadline to register to vote online, you can still register in person. You can head to any vote center or to your County Registrar of Voters office to do so. You can even register to vote on the day of the election! There is no excuse! Find more info here:


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