Voting Basics: Casting a Ballot

Click on a question below to find answers about Casting a Ballot:

Check your voter
registration status
by using the
Alameda County
Registrar of Voters

"My Voter Profile" tool

 


How Do I Vote?

You can vote in person at your polling place on Election Day, vote early in person at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters Office and other eligible early voting locations before Election Day, or vote by mail.

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How Do I Vote at the Polls on Election Day?

Alameda County polling places are open from 7 am – 8 pm. Find your polling place here.

  • The basic steps for voting at the polls are:
    • Go to the registration table
      • Say your name and address and sign the list of voters
      • A poll worker will give you a ballot
    • For paper ballots:
      • Fill out your ballot by following the instructions
      • Tear off the stub at the top of the ballot. You may use this stub later to check that your ballot was counted
      • Place your ballot in an envelope or folder, or fold it if instructed (this will preserve the secrecy of your ballot)
      • Cast your ballot by following the instructions
    • For touchscreen voting machines
      • The poll worker will give you either a unique passcode or a computer memory card to access the touchscreen voting machine
      • Follow the instructions on the machine to fill out and cast your ballot
  • If you have any questions, ask a poll worker!

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How Do I Vote Early in Person?

You can vote early in person at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters Office and other eligible early voting locations before Election Day. Find a list of dates, times, and locations to vote early here.

How Do I Vote by Mail?

You can request a vote-by-mail ballot from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters by filling out and mailing in a Vote-By-Mail Application. Your request must be received by November 1, 2016.

  • The basic steps for voting by mail are:
    • Follow the directions to fill out your vote-by-mail ballot and envelope
      • Don’t forget to sign the back of the envelope
    • Make sure to use the right amount of postage on the envelope
    • Return the ballot
      • By mail (your vote-by-mail ballot must be postmarked on or before Tuesday, November 8, 2016 and received by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters no later than Monday, November 14, 2016)
      • Drop it off at any location designated by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters on or before Election Day
      • Drop it off at any polling place in Alameda County by 8 pm on Election Day
      • Acceptable forms of ID include a California driver’s license, California identification card, passport, or a student ID card showing your name and photograph.
    • Visit the California Secretary of State for more information on acceptable identification

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Do I Have to Show ID to Vote?

To register to vote, you will need to provide your California driver’s license or ID card number or the last four digits of your Social Security number.

  • Most of the time, on Election Day you are not required to show identification at the polling place unless:
    • You are voting for the first time in a Federal election and you registered by mail
    • You did not provide either your driver's license number, state ID number, or the last four digits of your social security number on the registration card when registering by mail
    • Acceptable forms of ID include a California driver’s license, California identification card, passport, or a student ID card showing your name and photograph.
  • Visit the California Secretary of State for more information on acceptable identification

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