What to Know About Voting on Election Day in Bay Area

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What to Know

  • Vote centers are open on Election Day Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • County elections offices opened for in-person voting in early October, marking the start of a record early voting period.
  • More than 11 million Californians cast their ballots in advance of Election Day. That figure is 132 percent of the 2016 early vote total.

More than 11 million of California's 22 million registered voters have already cast ballots in an early voting window that saw record numbers across the country.

And now, Election Day is here, leaving voters with just hours left to decide key local, county and state races, along with the presidential election.

If you've already voted, click here to learn how to track your ballot.

For live Bay Area and statewide updates, click here.

Here's what to know if you're planning to vote on Election Day

When can I vote?

Vote centers in California will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday for in-person voting and ballot drop-off.

Where can I vote?

You'll need to check with your county elections office listed below for vote center locations, open for both in-person vote or mail-in ballot drop-off. Secure ballot dropbox locations also will be available on Election Day.

There are several issues on the California ballot that will impact voters' families, safety and finances, including Propositions . Here's a breakdown of a few key propositions. Cierra Johnson reports.

What happened to my precinct?

The vote center replaces the precinct system, which required voters to cast ballots at designated locations on election day. The vote center model allows you to cast ballots at any location within the county and, hopefully, avoid long lines.

How late is too late?

Under California elections code, voters who are in line by the time polls close must be allowed to cast ballots. As for mail-in ballots, those returned by mail must be postmarked by Nov. 3.

Am I even registered?

It's ok, the California Secretary of State has you covered. Just click here to check on your voter status. 

What if I forgot to register to vote?

The voter registration deadline in California is 15 days before Election Day, but you can "conditionally" register at a county elections office or vote center. Your ballot will be processed once the county elections office completes voter verification.

What if I'm told I need to cast a provisional ballot?

There are several reasons you might need to cast a provisional ballot.  For example, vote-by-mail voters who did not receive a ballot or forgot to bring it to the polling place. Provisional ballots go into a special envelope, and they're counted after it's confirmed that you're registered to vote.

Find out how to check your provisional vote's status here

If I'm voting in person, what should I do with my mail-in ballot?

You can surrender your unmarked ballot at the vote center in exchange for a polling place ballot. If you don't bring your vote-by-mail-ballot to surrender, you'll be given a provisional ballot, which will be counted after officials confirm you're registered to vote and didn't vote more than once.

When will my ballot be counted?

County elections offices were authorized to start processing vote-by-
mail ballots up to 29 days before Election Day, but results can't be counted until after the polls close on Tuesday in California. In past years, counties could not begin processing any ballots until 10 days before an election. The rules
were adjusted because of the coronavirus pandemic and the dramatic uptick in early voting. These rules vary by state, so wild vote total swings are possible on Election Night.

What if something didn't seem right at the vote center?

Do you know about California's Voter Bill of Rights? If you feel like your right to vote was violated or any of those conditions were not met, you can contact the Secretary of State.

  • Online: Click here
  • Phone: 800-345-8683
  • Email:

What's the weather going to be like?

Still need to drop off your ballot? Don't forget a jacket as it will be chilly this morning if you're heading out early with some areas of patchy fog. NBC Bay Area meteorologist Kari Hall has your microclimate forecast here.

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