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Top 5 FAQs on the November 2020 Election

September 9, 2020 9:00 AM
by Maria Dacanay

Top 5 FAQs on the November 2020 Election

As the Santa Monica City Clerk’s Office prepares for the November 3, 2020, Municipal Election, we want to share the most frequently asked questions by voters and encourage everyone to visit smvote.org for local election information. Here are our top questions:

1. Am I still able to register to vote?

Yes, eligible voters can register until Monday, October 19. After this date, you can register in-person at a Los Angeles (LA) County Vote Center between October 24 – November 3 and still be able to vote on the same day.

Register to vote now at registertovote.ca.gov


2. How is voting different this year?

There are 5 new things to know about this election:

In California, voters registered by October 19 will automatically be mailed a Vote-By-Mail ballot between October 5 – 27. Check your registration now to make sure your mailing address is up to date.

  • Where’s my Ballot? There is a free tracking system available to California voters that sends email, text or phone notifications on when you can expect to receive your ballot and when it is received by the LA County Clerk/Registrar Recorder. Sign up for Where’s my Ballot? now!
  • 24 Hour Vote-By-Mail Drop-Off Boxes will be installed throughout LA County where LA County voters can drop-off ballots at any location between October 5 to November 3 (Election day). A complete list of LA County Drop-Off locations will be posted on lavote.net by mid- September.
  • In-Person Vote Centers will be open between October 24 – November 3. Election workers will follow strict County and State public health and safety guidelines to provide a safe voting environment. Remember to wear a clean face-covering and maintain 6 feet of distance from other voters and election workers.
  • Voting by Mail - If your ballot is postmarked by Election Day (November 3) and received by the LA County Clerk/Registrar Recorder within 17 days after the election, your ballot will be accepted due to a new State law.

  1. Where are local polling places?

Below is a list of Vote Centers in Santa Monice and more details will be posted on lavote.net.  Remember, LA County voters can vote at any Vote Center in the county and are no longer limited to local polling places as in previous elections.

11-Day Vote Centers (opens October 24)
Santa Monica Community College, Corsair Gym
National Typewriter Company

5-Day Vote Centers (opens October 31)
Former Fire Station 1, 1444 7th Street
Barker Hangar
Santa Monica High School, Cafeteria
Franklin Elementary School, Cafetorium
Grant Elementary School, Auditorium
John Muir Elementary School, Multi-Purpose Room
Roosevelt Elementary School, Auditorium
Will Rogers Learning Community, Cafeteria

1-Day Mobile/Flex Vote Centers
Third Street Promenade – October 24
Virginia Avenue Park, Patio Room – October 31

Santa Monica is also in need of election workers.  Workers must be at least 18 years old, a California resident and registered to vote or a legal permanent resident.  More information can be found at lavote.net!


  1. Where can I drop off my ballot?

Ballots can be returned at a Vote-By-Mail Drop-Off Box or by USPS mail starting on October 5 and at available LA County Vote Centers starting 10 days before the election (October 24).  Drop-Off Boxes were installed in or near: the Santa Monica Main Library, the Montana Branch Library, Virginia Avenue Park, Marine Park and the Downtown Santa Monica Expo Station and more information will be available on lavote.net. Remember to return your ballots at a Drop-Off or Vote Center location before 8 p.m. on Election Day (November 3). Postage is free if you return it by mail.


  1. Where can I get local election information?

Local election information on candidates running for City Council, Rent Control Board, Santa Monica College Board and Santa Monica-Malibu School District School Board, and City measures are available now on www.smvote.org.  Spanish translations will be available online later this month.  Official Sample Ballots will be mailed to voters starting on September 24 – October 13, so check your mailboxes!

Have another question about the election? Contact the Santa Monica City Clerk’s Office at clerk@smgov.net or (310) 458-8211 for more information.

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