California allows voters to register to vote on the same day that they cast their ballots any time before polls close on election day. This is called conditional or same day voter registration. If you are eligible to vote but not yet registered, you can still vote in the presidential election this year. You will need to go to your county elections office, polling place, or vote center in person to register and vote conditionally. This plain language guide from Disability Vote California explains the process and includes links to find locations where you can register and vote. This guide is also available in Spanish.
If you have misplaced your ballot you can vote in person. It is likely that you will vote using a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is the same as a regular ballot, but it is not counted until after your county elections officials have made sure that you haven’t already voted. This plain language guide from Disability Vote California explains provisional voting in detail and includes information on how to check the status of your provisional ballot after you have voted. This guide is also available in Spanish.
La votación en las elecciones generales presidenciales de 2020 ha comenzado oficialmente. Las boletas comenzaron a llegar a hogares en todo California la semana pasada. Muchos votantes votarán desde casa por primera vez en las elecciones. Para asegurarnos de que se cuenten nuestros votos, es especialmente importante que todos conozcamos las reglas. Los votantes con discapacidades deben prestar especial atención a la regla sobre la firma de nuestro sobre de devolución de boleta.
Todos los votantes que votarán por correo o devolverán nuestras boletas en los buzones de votación locales deben firmar el sobre en el que devolvemos nuestras boletas. Esto es para que los funcionarios electorales de nuestro condado puedan comparar nuestras firmas con las que tienen en el archivo asociadas con nuestra registro de votantes y tarjetas de identificación estatales. Nuestros funcionarios están haciendo estas comparaciones para asegurarse de que nadie esté cometiendo fraude electoral.
Es probable que muchas personas con discapacidades no podamos firmar con nuestros nombres o que nuestras firmas hayan cambiado desde que nos registramos para votar. Si tiene un sello oficial que usa en lugar de una firma, o si hace una marca como una X en lugar de una firma en documentos oficiales, puede usarlos para firmar el sobre de su boleta
electoral. Este folleto de Disability Rights California explica cómo.
Para aquellos de nosotros que usamos una firma tradicional, es importante que tratemos de que se parezcan lo más posible a la firma de nuestra tarjeta de identificación estatal o licencia de conducir. Los funcionarios electorales no requieren una coincidencia exacta, pero las firmas deben verse bastante similares.
Para aquellos preocupados porque su firma haya cambiado desde su registro para votar, o desde que obtuvo su tarjeta de identificación estatal, comuníquese ahora con la oficina electoral de su condado para solicitar una tarjeta de registro de votante para que pueda actualizar su firma en el archivo.
Voting in the 2020 Presidential General Election has officially begun. Ballots started arriving in homes throughout California last week. Many voters will be voting from home for the first time in the election. In order to make sure that our votes are counted it is especially important that we all know the rules. Voters with disabilities must pay special attention to the rule about signing our ballot return envelope.
All voters who will vote by mail or return our ballots in local voting drop boxes must sign the envelope that we are returning our ballots in. This is so that our county elections officials can compare our signatures with the ones they have on file associated with our voter registration and state ID cards. Our officials are making these comparisons to make sure that no one is committing voter fraud.
Many people with disabilities may not be able to sign our names, or our signatures may have changed since we registered to vote. If you have an official stamp that you use in place of a signature, or if you make a mark like and X in place of a signature on official documents you can use those to sign your ballot envelope. This flyer from Disability Rights California explains how.
For those of us who use a traditional signature it is important that we try to make them look as much like the signature on our state ID card or driver’s license as possible. Elections officials do not require an exact match, but the signatures must look fairly similar.
If you are concerned that your signature has changed since you registered to vote or got your state ID card contact your county elections office now to request a voter registration card so that you can update your signature on file.
Join us on our Facebook page October 6th at 4:00 PM for the premiere of Election 2020 It’s Your Choice, a non-partisan roundtable discussion on how voters with disabilities make decisions before we vote.
Our vote is our voice. Yet finding credible sources of information is challenging for every voter. So much so that voting itself can be intimidating. Our democracy is important, and it needs all of our voices to work.
Election 2020 It’s Your Choice offers an informative, calm alternative to the partisan shouting. If you are planning to vote in the upcoming election join us on October 6th.
- Sascha Bittner, Voter and Activist
- Howard McBroom, Advocate, Easterseals
- Kecia Weller, Self-Advocacy and Community Liaison, UCLA Tarjan Center
- Wesley Witherspoon, Consumer Advocate USC UCEDD
- Moderator: Christian McMahon, The Arc of California
People experiencing homelessness in California can register to vote as long as you meet the standard eligibility criteria required of all voters. To register to vote in California you must be:
- a citizen of the United States
- a legal resident of your state
- at least 18 years old by election day
- not in prison, on probation or parole for a felony conviction
- You may be eligible to vote if you are a convicted felon whose voting rights have been restored (varies – check local laws)
- not declared mentally incompetent by a court (varies – check local laws)
Here are a few facts to know:
You do not need a street address to register to vote:
The section of the voter registration form that asks for your address allows voters to describe the place where you spend most of your time. You can include cross streets and routes to help establish your right to vote in your community.
You do not need ID to register to vote:
If you do not have a California ID card or know the last four digits of your social security number you can leave this section blank. According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, “In most cases, you will not be required to show identification when you vote in person. If you are voting for the first time in a federal election, you may be asked to show identification if you did not provide the last four digits of your Social Security number or driver’s license or California ID number when you registered to vote.”
You should include an address where you receive mail if possible:
This can be a post office box, the home of someone you trust, or a business that has agreed to receive mail on your behalf. If you include an address where you can receive mail you should be able to vote by mail in the election this fall.
This year it is especially important for all voters to make a plan to vote that will work best for them. This guide has information members of California’s disability community can use to make their voting plan this fall. The guide is also available in Spanish.
Election season is upon us, and it is time for the disability community to do our part!
The election this fall will be unlike any we have ever experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All registered California voters will receive our ballots in the mail. After that we have several options for either voting from home or voting in person. The plain language guide How You Can Vote in 2020 explains those options. This guide is also available in Spanish.
Before we can vote we must be registered. The plain language guide Register Change Lives! Explains how to register to vote. This guide is also available in Spanish.
Both of these guides and many more resources on voting for California’s disability community can be found at www.DisabilityVoteCA.org. Please share the guides with anyone in your network who you think would benefit from them.
A presidential election in the middle of a pandemic is an historic event. Add problems at the postal service and it is clear that the election this fall will be unlike any our country has ever held.
What can we the voters do to prepare?
- Check your voter registration status
- Get informed
- Make a plan
- Share your knowledge
1. Check your voter registration status
Every California voter will receive their ballot in the mail this year. This means that it is more important than ever to make sure that your voter registration is up to date. Luckily this can be done online in just a few moments. Click the linked text below to check your status:
2. Get Informed
There is a lot of confusion about how we will vote this fall. This guide includes information on the options that California’s voters have:
People with disabilities face unique challenges when we access our right to vote. To learn about accessible voting and the voting right of people with disabilities visit www.DisabilityVoteCA.org
3. Make a plan
Once you have made sure your voter registration is up to date and read the guide, take time to think about what will work best for you this fall. There is no one size fits all option that will work for everyone. If you are unsure of how you want to vote talk it over with trusted friends and family members.
4. Share your knowledge
The structure of the upcoming election is new for everyone. By doing steps 1 – 3 you are now more informed than many people in the state.
The leaders and laws that we vote for have a tremendous impact on the lives of people with disabilities, our families, and the workforce who support us. This is why it is critically important that you share this information with the people in your life and encourage them to make their own plans to vote this fall.
If you have questions about voting or if you encounter inaccessibility when you vote call the Disability Rights California Voter Assistance Hotline:
VOICE – 1.888.569.7955
TTY – 1.800.719.5798