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10/23: VOTING PROCESS & SECURITY. Are you wanting information about the 2020 voting process and security? Check out the resources...

Voter Information:

California has a very easy-to-use website where you can verify your voter registration status, register to vote (do it now!), and even sign up to get updates on your ballot status:


FIRST: VOTER TURN-OUT 57% IN SEBASTOPOL!! Wow. This is amazing, folks. This means 3238 of 5640 ballots have been returned and processed - they have all been confirmed as valid and WILL BE COUNTED ON ELECTION NIGHT. It also means 2402 have not been received. Want them counted on election night? The time is running out! See options below.  At this point, dropping off your ballot in a secure dropbox or placing it in the regular USPS mail will mean it won't be processed or counted until AFTER election night. We want ALL Sebastopol ballots to be tabulated and counted on Election Night!! Get the word out NOW!

HOW DO I MAKE SURE MY BALLOT IS INCLUDED IN THE ELECTION NIGHT COUNT? Two options: Hand-deliver your ballot to the Registrar of Voters (435 Fiscal Dr in SR) by Thursday Oct 29 at 5pm, OR do in-person voting which begins this Saturday Oct 31. WHY? Because Friday October 30 is the last time before election night that the Registrar of Voters will be processing mail-in ballots, and the only ones processed that day will be those RECEIVED by Thursday at 5pm. Beginning Saturday through election night the Registrar will be focusing on processing in-person ballots, and then will return to processing the remaining mail-in ballots after election night.
WHERE CAN I DO IN-PERSON VOTING? If you aren't able to hand-deliver your mail-in ballot to the Registrar of Voters by Thursday October 29 at 5pm (435 Fiscal Drive in SR), and you want to make sure your vote is counted on election night, take your mail-in ballot to an in-person voting location and turn it in to get an in-person ballot. Two Options: Sebastopol Community Center (390 Morris): 9am-5pm on Sat, Sun, Mon, then 7am-8pm on Tue 11/3, or Registrar of Voters (435 Fiscal Dr in SR): 9am-5pm Wed October 28, Thu, Fri, Mon, then 7am-8pm Tue 11/3. Registrar of Voters phone number: 565-6800.  (If you don't have your mail-in ballot with you when you go to do your in-person voting, you can still vote, but there will be a delay in processing your vote because it will be considered a "provisional" ballot that requires an additional step for validation.)
CAN'T I STILL DO MAIL-IN VOTING ALL THE WAY THROUGH ELECTION DAY? Yes, it's just that your vote won't be counted until after election night unless it's received by the Registrar of Voters by Thursday October 29 at 5pm. So, if you can't do either of the options described above (hand-deliver by Thu Oct 29 to the Registrar of Voters or do in-person voting through election night at 8pm), just make sure you place your ballot in a secure drop box (Sebastopol Center for the Arts has one) or if you're using USPS it has to be postmarked by November 3. Best advice in this situation: walk into the post office and have the clerk hand stamp the envelope right in front of you. That way if there's some confusion about the date stamped at the central USPS processing center, the Registrar of Voters will have a way to confirm you did in fact deliver to the post office on time.
IS IT STILL SAFE TO USE THE SECURE DROP BOX AT THE SEBASTOPOL CENTER FOR THE ARTS? Yes, the secure drop boxes set up by the Registrar of Voters are safe and reliable to use. They'll all remain open until 8pm on November 3. The final pick up from all drop boxes, including ours at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts at 282 South High Street, will be after 8pm on November 3. I confirmed this by phone with the Registrar of Voters (565-6800). Just remember that as of Thu Oct 29 at 5pm, dropping off your ballot at the secure drop box (or even placing it in the USPS mail) will mean it won't be processed or counted until AFTER election night.

BUT THE VERY BEST CHOICE: Hand-deliver to the Registrar of Voters by Thu 10/29 at 5pm, or do in-person voting instead!!!



Ballots Have Arrived! Everyone in Sebastopol should have a ballot in hand by now (October 7). If you did not receive one, call 565-6800 (Sonoma County Registrar of Voters).

Where do I get an application to register to vote? Online applications to register to vote are here. To have a paper application mailed to you call 1-800-345-8683, or email your request to Or you can pick one up at the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters (435 Fiscal Drive in Santa Rosa), and at the Sebastopol Post Office.

How can I find out if I'm already registered to vote? You can check online to make sure you're registered to vote here. This will also show you the address that the County has listed for you. You can also find out if you're registered to vote by calling 565-6800 (Sonoma County Registrar of Voters).

Is there still time to register to vote? Yes! The deadline for the regular voter registration process is October 19. That means your online application must be submitted by then, or your mailed-in registration form must be postmarked by then. Note: if your name or address has changed, or you want to change your party affiliation, you will need to re-register.

Is there some way to register right up through election day? Yes, you can register in person at the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters offices at 435 Fiscal Drive in Santa Rosa (phone number 565-6800), right up through election day. (Their hours are Monday-Friday 8am-5pm, except Tuesday November 3, when the office is open 7am-8pm).

Who is eligible to vote? You must be a U.S. citizen, a California resident, 18 years or older on Election Day, not currently in a state or federal prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony, and not currently found by a court to be mentally incompetent to vote. These rules, plus more information about voting rights for people with a criminal history, can be found here.  Information for people under a conservatorship can be found here.

When can I vote? As soon as you receive your mail-in ballot you can vote. My advice: VOTE NOW!!!!

How do I submit my mail-in ballot? The easiest local option is to take your ballot to the secure drop box at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts at 282 South High (open through 8pm on election day) (see attached photo). You can also place your ballot in the mail. Note that mail-in ballots must be postmarked no later than election day and must be received no later than 17 days after election day. You can also hand-deliver your ballot to the County Registrar of Voters (435 Fiscal Drive in Santa Rosa) anytime, but no later than 8pm on election day.

Can I vote in person? Yes. Bring your mail-in ballot with you and exchange it for a polling place ballot. It's a good idea to bring a form of ID.

Where can I vote in-person? Locally, you can go to the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center (390 Morris) beginning Saturday October 31, through election day. The hours on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Oct 31-Nov 2) are 9am to 5pm. On election day (November 3), the hours are 7am to 8pm. The other alternative for in-person voting is the Registrar of Voters in Santa Rosa (435 Fiscal Drive), available now through election day. The hours are Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm; but on Tuesday November 3, the hours will be 7am to 8pm.

How can I double-check drop box and in-person voting locations and hours? Go to the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters website here, or call the office at 565-6800.

How can I find out if my ballot has been rejected, so I can correct it? Sign up for "Track my Ballot." You can select how you want to be notified (email, text, or phone call). You'll be alerted when your ballot has been mailed, received, counted, and if there are issues. If there are issues, like a missing or unverifiable signature, you'll be notified that you can cast a provisional ballot, giving officials more time to review and verify your voter status. 

Who counts my vote and when do they start? The Sonoma County Registrar of Voters office will count our votes. They begin on election day, although they're allowed to process vote-by-mail ballots seven business days in advance. That means they can start to verify the signature on the return envelopes and tally the number of votes that have been cast. Results can't be tabulated until after the polls have closed at 8 p.m. on election day.

What do I do if I try to vote and am told that my voter status can't be confirmed? Ask to submit a provisional ballot. You'll be allowed to vote, but told that your vote won't be counted until your voter status is confirmed. This is what happens if, for example, you try to vote in person but don't have your mail-in ballot with you, or your name doesn't appear on the voting rolls, or you don't have ID with you. You can then call the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters (565-6800) to check the status of your provisional ballot.

Whatever you do, please vote in this election. Your right to vote is precious. We need every voice to be heard as we choose leadership on November 3, 2020!

Diana Rich, Sebastopol City Council
321 S. Main St. #60 
Sebastopol CA 95472
FPPC #1430199
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