Vote-by-Mail ballots for the Nov. 3, 2020 Consolidated General Election began going out this week to all active, registered voters in Sonoma County. Most of these ballots should arrive within three to 10 days. Also starting this week, voters who want their ballots sooner may come to the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office at 435 Fiscal Drive in Santa Rosa to pick them up. A voter may also authorize somebody to pick up their ballot for them with a signed note.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this election is being conducted differently than prior elections in Sonoma County. In previous elections, the Registrar of Voters Office only sent Vote-by-Mail ballots to voters who requested them or were signed up to permanently vote by mail. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom on June 18 signed into law legislation requiring elections officials across the state to mail a ballot to every registered, active voter ahead of the November election. In Sonoma County, more than 80 percent of voters were already signed up to permanently vote by mail.
Voters may return their Vote-by-Mail ballots in two ways: (1) sending them back in the mail, no postage required or (2) taking them to one of 20 ballot drop boxes installed throughout the County. The ballot drop box in the City of Sonoma is located in the Sonoma Valley Regional Library parking lot at 755 W Napa St, Sonoma. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received at the Registrar of Voters Office by Nov. 20 in order to be counted. Ballots returned at a ballot drop box must be deposited by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. For a list and map of all ballot drop boxes, please visit https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/where-to-vote.
Voters are encouraged to return their Vote-by-Mail ballots early so their votes are among the first election results to be released on Election Night. Voters are also encouraged to sign up for “Where’s My Ballot?” at https://california.ballottrax.net/voter/, a service that sends notifications whenever there is a status update to a person’s ballot, such as when it is mailed out, received and counted.
In the event that a voter never receives their ballot or needs a replacement, the last day to request a ballot be mailed to them is Oct. 27. After Oct. 27, requests for Vote-by-Mail ballots must be made in person at the Registrar of Voters Office.
Voters who wish to vote in person will be able to do so at 30 in-person voting locations in the County between Oct. 31 and Election Day (Nov. 3). The specific hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day itself. Unlike previous elections in Sonoma County, voters in this election will not be assigned to a specific polling place and instead may go to any in-person voting location they choose. For a full list of these voting locations, please visit https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/where-to-vote.
Any questions about the Nov. 3, 2020, Consolidated General Election should be directed to the Registrar of Voters Office at 435 Fiscal Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95403, (707) 565-6800, firstname.lastname@example.org.
ELECTION INFORMATION FOR SONOMA CITY VOTERS
Sonoma City voters will be able to weigh in on four local ballot measures in the November 2020 election. Three of these measures were placed on the ballot by the City Council, and one by a citizens initiative. Information on each measure, including ballot documents, additional background, and/or frequently asked questions, can be found on the following pages: