2020 election: How to vote in Central California, voting information, locations

If you haven't cast your ballot yet, here are three ways Central California residents can vote:
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Election Day is November 3, 2020, and this year, Americans are turning out to vote early in record numbers. Here in California, the way we vote has changed many voters. All registered voters have been sent a mail-in ballot, and there are fewer in-person voting places.

If you haven't cast your ballot yet, here are three ways Central California residents can cast their vote:

DROP OFF YOUR BALLOT


Find the ballot that the county mailed to you, fill it out, sign the envelope, and seal your ballot inside. After that, use the links below to find an official drop box located in your county. You can use any box, even it's not near your home.

Many counties are expanding their drop box availability due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The boxes are the most secure way to vote, they don't rely on the postal service to deliver your ballot, and they don't require any contact with elections official or other voters.

You must turn in your ballot to a drop box by 8 pm on November 3.

Click on your county to find an official drop box location near you:
Fresno County
Kings County
Mariposa County
Madera County
Merced County
Tulare County

MAIL IN YOUR BALLOT


If there's not a drop box that's convenient for you, you can vote by mail. Find the ballot that the county mailed to you, fill it out, sign the envelope, seal your ballot inside, and place it in a mailbox.

But beware of this important rule: Your ballot must be postmarked by November 3 to count. County elections officials say if you're voting on November 3, consider using a drop box, or be very careful to make sure it gets postmarked that day.

VOTE IN-PERSON


If you can't find the ballot that the county mailed, your dog ate it, or your child turned it into a "work of art" -- there is no need to worry. Counties are offering in-person voting at what are being called "Vote Centers" or "Polling Places."

At these locations, elections workers can offer assistance, voters can use an accessible tablet, replacement ballots are available, alternative language ballots are available, and eligible voters can register and vote on the same day. Voters can also use these locations as additional "drop off" locations for completed ballots.

There are two important things to know about these locations:

First, unlike traditional polling places, any voter can use any location in their county. Pick the one that's the most convenient for you.

Second, unless you need one of the special services mentioned above, there's no extra benefit to voting in person. In fact, election officials are encouraging voters to use drop boxes or vote by mail if they can.

Click on your county to see in-person voting locations near you:

Fresno County
"Vote Centers" will be open in Fresno County on:
Saturday, October 31, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 1, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm
Monday, November 2, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm
Tuesday, November 3, 7:00 am - 8:00 pm

Kings County
"Poll Locations" will be open in Kings County on:
Saturday, October 31, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday, November 1, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Monday, November 2, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday, November 3, 7:00 am - 8:00 pm

Mariposa County
"Voter Centers" will be open in Mariposa County on:
Saturday, October 31, 8:00 am- 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 1, 8:00 am- 5:00 pm
Monday, November 2, 8:00 am- 5:00 pm
Tuesday, November 3, 7:00 am - 8:00 pm

Madera County
"Vote Centers" will be open in Madera County on:
Friday, October 30, 8:00 am- 5:00 pm
Saturday, October 31, 8:00 am- 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 1, 8:00 am- 5:00 pm
Monday, November 2, 8:00 am- 5:00 pm
Tuesday, November 3, 7:00 am - 8:00 pm

Merced County
"Voting Assistance Centers" will be open in Merced County on:
Saturday, October 31, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday, November 1, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Monday, November 2, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday, November 3, 7:00 am - 8:00 pm

Tulare County
"Consolidated Polling Places" will be open in Tulare County on:
Saturday, October 31, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 1, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Monday, November 2, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday, November 3, 7:00 am - 8:00 pm

No matter which way you vote, you can track your ballot online through the state's 'Where's My Ballot?' service by clicking here.

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