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How can I check if my ballot was received in California?

The election is under a week away but for postal votes must have already been sent, and you can track it online to see if the vote will be counted in time.

Conservative talk show host and gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder votes at a polling station iin Los Angeles, California, September 8, 2021 ahead of the special recall election.
Robyn BeckAFP

The California recall election deadline is just under a week away and voters have been sending in their mail-in ballots. The contest is likely a two-horse race between the incumbent, Gavin Newsom, and his conservative opponent Larry Elder. As of Monday 6 September, only around 6 million of California's 22 million registered voters, roughly 27 percent, had returned their ballot.

All voters in the state were sent a mail-in ballot for the election. If you have sent one, it is possible to track its progress until it is counted. It's still confidential, and it is just the envelope that is tracked. However, it is also possible to vote in person, an option that is available right up until the day of the election, thanks to 'conditional voter registration'.

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How to track mail ballots

There is a website that has been set up to enable voters to track the progress of mail-in ballots. You can follow its progress once it has been mailed, received and finally once it has been counted.

The sign-up is here at You can receive updates by automatic email, SMS (text), or voice call.

There is also a page for FAQs, found here.

What if I didn't send my ballot in time?

A 2019 law allows 'conditional voter registration' right up until election day. In an individual's county election office, it is possible to register to vote in the 14 days prior to an election. Once the eligibility to vote has been processed, then the vote will be counted.

The conditional voter registration is useful for people who have changed their personal details or address since the last election. People who will turn 18 years old up until September 14 can also request a conditional voter registration form.

Early voting locations can be found here and the location of polling stations can be found here, where conditional voter forms can be found on election day.


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