Decision 2020

Election Day is Here, Polls Open Before Regular Business Hours

With millions of mail-in votes to be counted, it could be weeks for final returns to be counted and certified.

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The waiting is over. California polls are now open for in-person voting.

People can find their polling place at https://localnewsmatters.org/voter-information-hub/ or on the back of the voter information guide sent to all registered California voters.

With early voting, Santa Clara County has seen a record turnout for the 2020 election and voters continued to stream in to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots. Kris Sanchez reports.

Though online registration is no longer available, people can still vote on Election Day if they're not registered. It's called Same Day Voter Registration, and California voters can do so at the same time they go to their polling place.

Anyone unsure about their registration status can go to voterstatus.sos.ca.gov.

People should not mail ballot on Election Day. Technically, it must be postmarked by Tuesday and arrive within the 17 days following the election. But mailing a ballot on Election Day leaves a good chance of the vote not counting. The U.S. Postal Service recommended mailing it a week before the election.

People can still drop off ballots at designated drop boxes, with locations found at their county's elections office website.

The signature should match the one recorded when someone last registered to vote. A good rule is to match it to one's driver's license, which is also issued through a state agency. When someone registered to vote, their latest DMV signature will be what it's compared to if there are questions. California doesn't typically check for exact matches unless there's an issue.

People can track their ballot at california.ballottrax.net. Even with COVID-19 restrictions in place, the state isn't making wearing a mask a requirement. However, a poll worker may ask people to vote in a separate area with increased physical distance from other voters. Wearing a mask makes it easier and safer for everyone.

The polls close at 8 p.m. With millions of mail-in votes to be counted, it could be weeks for final returns to be counted and certified. In California, elections are supposed to be certified by Dec. 3.

Another list of frequently asked question and answers about elections in California is available https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/frequently-asked-questions.

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