How to Vote at a Polling Place

Vote at a polling place

It’s that time of year and sometimes we forget the basics with so much going on in our lives. Here’s a short and concise article on how to vote at a polling place. This is brought to you by Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State.

Where is my polling place?

The address of your polling place is on the back page of the county Voter Information Guide that your county elections official mailed to you. If you do not have the booklet, contact your county elections office, or call the Secretary of State’s toll-free voter hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683).

Will I need to bring identification?

In most cases, California voters are not required to show identification at their polling place. However, it is a good idea to bring identification with you when you vote for the first time. A poll worker may ask to see your identification if you mailed your voter registration application and did not include your driver license number, California identification number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.

A copy of a recent utility bill, the county Voter Information Guide you received from your county elections office, or another document sent to you by a government agency are examples of acceptable forms of identification. Other examples include your passport, driver license, official California identification card, or student identification card.

For more information on identification to use when you vote for the first time check the complete list or call the Secretary of State’s toll-free voter hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683).

What if my name is not on the voter list at the polling place?

Even if your name is not on the voter list at the polling place, you have the right to vote with a provisional ballot. Your provisional ballot will be counted only after the elections official has confirmed you are a registered voter and you did not vote anywhere else in that election. The poll worker can give you information about how to check if your provisional ballot was counted and, if it was not counted, the reason why.

What voting system will I use?

Each county elections office selects a voting system from a list approved by the Secretary of State. Review How to Vote Using Your County’s Voting System to find out which one your county uses.