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How to Vote in the Upcoming Election

How to Vote in the Upcoming Election
Posted on September 12, 2016 by CHS

On November 8, 2016, Americans will go to the polls to elect our next President. While the media coverage of the presidential election is substantial, there will be many other items on your ballot that you might not be as familiar with. While it is difficult to find the time to research all candidates and ballot measures on your ballot, the California Secretary of State website provides a number of useful webpages and resources to help you register to vote, find your polling place, check your registration, and learn about the ballot ahead of time.

Registering to Vote: What you need to know

You can register to vote online or by filling out a paper application. If you wish to register online, go to: If you wish to fill out a paper application, you can pick one up at your local county elections office, library, Department of Motor Vehicles, or post office. The application is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese.

The deadline to register to vote is 15 days before the election. For the upcoming election in November, the deadline is October 24.

You will need to re-register to vote if:

  • You recently moved
  • You changed your name
  • You changed your political party

For more information and frequently asked questions about voting, see:

Where do I go to vote?

Your local polling place will be provided on the back of the sample ballot that is mailed to all registered voters. If you do not have your sample ballot, you can contact your local county elections office or the Secretary of State voter hotline: (800) 345-VOTE (8683).

To find your local county elections office, see:

What ballot measures will be on the November ballot?

There are 18 statewide ballot measures on the ballot for this November. Californians will decide on issues including plastic bags, gun control, legalizing marijuana, drug prices, and the death penalty. You can see more about each one at the Secretary of State website: You can also read about them at Ballotpedia:

There are also many local ballot measures that will be decided at the county level this November. You can see a list of county ballot measures here:,_2016_ballot_measures_in_California

Find Your Sample Ballot

You can find your sample ballot by entering your address on this Ballotpedia webpage:,_2016, in the box labeled “What’s on your ballot?” Alternatively, you can click on any of the 13 links provided at the top of this page to see more information about all seats and ballot measures to be decided. You can see all U.S. Congressional seats, state legislative seats, county municipal seats (Mayoral and City Council races), judicial seats, and school board seats to be decided in California this November.

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