5 common mistakes Californians make while voting

Election Eve interview on KCRA TV

By Edie Lambert & KCRA News Staff,
KCRA Television,
November 5, 2018



Election Day is here. And, California voters may be making some mistakes that could disqualify their ballot.

Voters were asked to check their voter registration status and their polling sites before Tuesday so they don’t run into problems Election Day.

Kim Alexander, president of the California Voters Foundation, breaks down 5 common mistakes people make when voting:

1) Forgetting to Sign Mail-In-Ballot Envelope

The biggest mistake voters make with their mail-in ballots is they forget to sign and date the envelopes. 

If the mail-in ballot envelope is not signed and dated, the ballot cannot be validated.

2) Signature is Mismatched

If the signature on the envelope doesn’t match the signature on record, the ballot cannot be validated.

However, a new law that went into effect this year requires California counties to follow up with voters when a signature cannot be validated.

Voters can also check the status of their ballot on the California Secretary of State’s website. 

If your ballot is marked challenged, you can reach out to your county registrar’s office. The county will also have to make an effort to reach out to you. 

3) Not Knowing When and Where to Vote

On Election Day, all polling places and vote centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Don’t know where you should go to vote? You can find your polling place here.

However, mail-in ballot drop-off locations are usually open during business hours of the building.

You can find mail-in ballot drop-off locations here.

If you are a Sacramento County or a Nevada County resident, you will cast your vote at a vote center. Find vote center locations here.

4) Not Voting Because They Missed Registration Deadline

The last day to register to vote was Oct. 22. If you missed the deadline, you can register as a conditional voter here.

Your provisional ballot will get counted after election officials verify you didn’t vote anywhere else.

5) Not Voting Because of One Race

Voting is not a test, Alexander said. If you don’t know how to vote on a race or an issue, you can keep it blank. 

Your vote is still counted for the rest of the ballot. (full interview)