Last updated on September 2, 2016
California absentee ballot deadlines
- Absentee ballot application deadlines: Received 7 days before Election Day if requesting by mail; no deadline if requesting in person
- Voted ballots are due: Received by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day
California absentee ballot rules
Any registered California voter may apply for an absentee ballot and vote by mail.
California absentee ballot directions
- Use our Absentee Ballot Tool to prepare your application.
- Sign and date the form. This is very important!
- Return your completed application to your Local Election Office as soon as possible. We’ll provide the mailing address for you.
- All Local Election Offices will accept mailed or hand-delivered forms. If it’s close to the deadline, call and see if your Local Election Office will let you fax or email the application.
- Make sure your application is received by the deadline. Your application must actually arrive by this time — simply being postmarked by the deadline is insufficient.
- Please contact your Local Election Office if you have any further questions about the exact process.
Once you receive your ballot...
- Once you receive the ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions.
- Sign and date where indicated.
- Mail your voted ballot back to the address indicated on the return envelope.
- Your voted ballot must arrive by the deadline or it will not be counted.