"Election day" spans weeks with flexibility of voting by mail

Sacramento, California - California county elections officials are now mailing in-state vote-by-mail ballots for the next statewide election set for June 3. Military and overseas ballots were mailed in April. Whether a ballot is cast by mail or in a polling place, the ballot must be received by county elections officials no later than 8:00 p.m. on election day. Postmarks do not count.

"While voting by mail has been around for decades, its popularity has soared since 1979 when any Californian could choose to vote by mail without having to provide a reason or an excuse. More than half of the ballots cast in recent statewide elections were sent in by mail," said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, the state's chief elections officer.

In the June 2012 presidential primary, 65 percent of voters cast their ballots by mail. More than 51 percent of ballots cast in the November 2012 general election were mailed. Visit www.sos.ca.gov/elections/hist_absentee.htm for 50 years of vote-by-mail statistics in California's statewide elections..

All valid vote-by-mail ballots are counted in every election, regardless of the outcome or closeness of any race. Once county elections officials determine the signature on the ballot return envelope matches the voter’s signature on his or her voter registration form, and the person did not vote elsewhere in the same election, the ballot is counted.

The last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot is May 27. A registered voter may obtain a vote-by-mail application online at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/vote-by-mail/pdf/fill-in-vote-by-mail-app-instruct.pdf or use the application in the voter's sample ballot booklet mailed by the county elections office.

Keep up with the latest California election news, trivia and tips by following @CASOSvote on Twitter. To subscribe to state election news via email or RSS feed, go to www.sos.ca.gov/multimedia.

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