How to check if your vote is counted in California

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Mail-in ballots in their envelopes await processing at the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorders’ mail-in ballot processing center at the Pomona Fairplex on Oct. 28, 2020. (Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images)

With postal delays expected this election as California conducts more widespread mail-in voting than ever before, many voters are anxious about their ballots being received on time — and counted.

This year, California rolled out a new tool: WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov. It lets voters track their mail ballot from the point it’s sent to them until it’s been accepted and counted by their local elections office.

The site will also let you sign up for email, text or phone call updates on your ballot’s status.

If you haven’t yet mailed your ballot, should you take it directly to a polling location? Not necessarily. This year in California, mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day will still be counted as long as they are received by Nov. 20 — or 17 days after Election Day, compared to the usual three.

Every county elections office also allows voters to check the status of their mail-in or provisional ballot online or by phone. Here’s how to contact five counties in Southern California:

  • In Los Angeles County, you can track ballots here or call 800-815-2666, selecting option 2
  • In Orange County, you can track mail-in ballots here and provisional ballots here
  • In Riverside County, you can check on a mail ballot here or call 951-486-7200
  • In San Bernardino County, mail ballots can be tracked here or by calling 909-387-8300
  • In Ventura County, you can track mail ballots here and provisional ballots here

Information for other counties can be found at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-status.

Still need to vote? You can visit voterstatus.sos.ca.gov to make sure you’re registered, and at the correct address. If you cast a mail-in or provisional ballot, the site will also tell you whether your ballot was counted.

If you haven’t registered yet, you still can. While the state deadline for pre-registration and receiving a mail-in ballot has passed, you can still complete same-day registration at any vote center up to or on Election Day.

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