2024 is another big election year — and before the general election in November that’ll decide the next president of the United States, California has our Presidential Primary Election.
If you’re a registered California voter, your ballot is either on its way or has already arrived in your mailbox. But what if you make a mistake on your ballot as you’re filling it out? Or you’re just not sure how to fill it out in the first place?
Read on to learn how to fill out your ballot, how important your signature is, and your options if you need to start again with a fresh ballot.
First of all: Am I registered to vote?
The official deadline to register online to vote at registertovote.ca.gov is Feb. 20. If you’ve changed your name or the political party choice you previously registered to vote with, you’ll need to re-register. And if you’re unsure whether you’re already registered to vote or can’t remember which party preference you already have, check your voter registration details ASAP.
Making sure you’re registered — and to the right address — is crucial for getting your ballot on time and being able to vote. Read more about how to make sure you receive your ballot and what to do if your ballot hasn’t arrived.
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What if I just don’t know my ‘correct’ signature I’m registered to vote with?
If you’re really worried about the signature on your envelope not matching the signature you’re registered to vote with, there are two good solutions.
One: If it’s on or before Feb. 20, you can reregister to vote with your current signature to be sure that the state now has your most recent one on file. If you are reregistering after Feb. 20, you’d need to complete the same-day voter registration process (also known as “conditional voting”) and request your ballot in person at your county elections office or polling location.
Two: In 2021, Kim Alexander, president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation, told us there’s another solution if you’re worried about your signature: Go vote in person, if you’re able.
That’s because the signature only goes on your ballot’s envelope — and if you’re voting in person, there’s no envelope because that ballot then goes straight into the ballot box without needing that envelope at all.
“So if you want that satisfaction of seeing your ballot drop in the box and know that it’s not going to get held up because of some signature issue, you can go and vote in person,” Alexander said. (Full Story)(