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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). See the County Drop Box locator.
  • 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. See the County locator, including wait times.
  • 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 are 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. You can use County's voting center locator and filter by wait time to find a location with the shortest wait.

As a result of the pandemic, preferential parking regulations are currently only being enforced in Zone 3.

11-Day Vote Centers (opens October 24)
Santa Monica Community College, Corsair Gym – On-site campus parking
National Typewriter Company – Street parking with some metered spots marked for voter parking

5-Day Vote Centers (opens October 31)
Former Fire Station 1, 1444 7th Street – Street parking with some metered spots marked for voter parking
Barker Hangar – On-site parking at Lot 7
Santa Monica High School, South Gym – Street parking and Civic Center Parking Structure
Franklin Elementary School, Cafetorium – Street parking only and voters may temporarily park at Passenger Loading Zones
Grant Elementary School, Auditorium – Street parking only and voters may temporarily park at Passenger Loading Zones
John Muir/SMASH School, Multi-Purpose Room – Street parking only and voters may temporarily park at Passenger Loading Zones
Roosevelt Elementary School, Auditorium – Street parking only and voters may temporarily park at Passenger Loading Zones
Will Rogers Learning Community, Cafeteria – Street parking and voters may temporarily park at Passenger Loading Zones

1-Day Mobile/Flex Vote Centers
Virginia Avenue Park, Patio Room – October 31 – On-site parking available at the Virginia Avenue and Pico Boulevard lots,

If you are at a polling location and witness suspicious election activity, please report it to LA County at report.lacounty.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 is 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 in English and Spanish on smvote.org.  Spanish translations will be available online later this month.  Official Sample Ballots were mailed to voters and is available at lavote.net

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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