Voting ballots can be returned in three different ways: dropping it off at a ballot box, mailing to a county elections official, or turning it in at a polling station.

Guide to voting

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As the 2020 election approaches, young adults are voting for the first time. In order to vote, one is required to register to vote. There are three ways to register: online, by mail, or in person. 

For online registration, one will need to provide their California-issued identification card number, the last four digits of their social security number, and their DMV-stored digital signature. The same requirements apply for registering by mail, but a California-issued ID and a digital signature will not be necessary. If one wishes to register in person, go to a state or local election office to fill out the National Voter Registration Form. The deadline for voter registration is Oct. 19.

All registered voters will receive a ballot through the mail following Governor Gavin Newsom’s order. After one marks their choices, place the ballot in the official envelope provided before sealing and signing it. To return the ballot after voting, one may mail it to their county elections official, return it in person at a polling station, or drop it off at a ballot drop box. All of these must be done before 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 on Election Day.

Despite the pandemic, an option to vote in person remains. Depending on one’s county, early voting centers will be available this year to avoid overcrowding. If one is unable to vote early, polling centers will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. While bringing one’s ID is not required, it is advised for first-time voters. 

Voting for the first time can be confusing for many, especially during a year where regular procedures changed due to the pandemic. However, there are a variety of options throughout the process that one can choose from to cater to their needs and safety concerns. The deadline to cast a vote, whether in person or by mail, is Nov. 3.

Voter registration application: https://covr.sos.ca.gov/

General voter information: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ 

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