Election Day may still be less than a month away, but voting has already begun, with options to cast your ballot by mail or in person.
Mail-in ballots for the Nov. 8 election are being sent out this week, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. The general election includes federal, state and local contests, as well as various ballot propositions.
Mail ballots can be returned in multiple ways. One option is to drop them off at an official ballot drop box. There are drop boxes located throughout the county, including at Palo Alto City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave.; Palo Alto High School, 50 Embarcadero Road; Mitchell Park Library, 3700 Middlefield Road; and the Rinconada Branch Library, 1213 Newell Road. To find a nearby ballot drop box, visit sccvote.sccgov.org/vote-mail/official-ballot-drop-box-sites-and-early-voting-information.
Ballots come with the postage already paid and can be mailed back without a postage stamp, so long as the ballot is inside the provided return envelope. To be counted, ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received no more than seven days after the election.
The Registrar of Voters' office — located at 1555 Berger Drive, Building 2 in San Jose — is also open for in-person voting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Voters can request a paper ballot or vote using touch-screen machines inside the office, a Registrar of Voters' spokesperson said. There are also multiple ballot drop boxes on-site, including a drive up option. Curbside voting is also available, allowing a voter to park in a designated space, call the office and have a ballot brought out to them. The Registrar of Voters' phone number is 866-430-8683.
The Registrar of Voters' office will also be open for in-person voting from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends of Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 5-6. On Election Day, it will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
As the election nears, there will also be various official vote centers open throughout the county. To view a list of vote centers and when each is slated to be operating, visit sccvote.sccgov.org/vote-person/official-vote-center-list-and-schedule.
Voters with disabilities can also receive an electronic ballot that they can fill out at home through the Remote Accessible Vote by Mail system (RAVBM). The ballot must then be printed out and returned. For more information about electronic ballots, visit sccvote.sccgov.org/vote-mail/accessible-voting-ravbm.
The last day to register to vote is Oct. 24. Anyone who has changed their name or political affiliation needs to re-register to vote. For additional information, visit sccvote.sccgov.org/register-vote.
For those curious about election security measures, the Registrar of Voters has published information about the systems that are in place. To learn more, visit sccvote.sccgov.org/elections/election-security.
Additional information about the election can be found at sccvote.org.