VOTE: Election 2020
California
Make sure you’re registered, learn what’s on your ballot, get news and information about the candidates and issues, and find up-to-date voting information with the SmartNews election hub.

Voting

VOTING IN PERSON

Poll Times
7 a.m. - 8 p.m.

ID Requirements
Identification is not required.

However, some voters may be asked to show a form of ID if they are voting for the first time.

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VOTE BY MAIL

Can I vote by mail in California?
Yes, you can! Voting by mail is the default in California.

How do I get my ballot?
Every registered California voter will automatically be mailed a ballot—no need to request one.

What's the deadline to submit my ballot?
Your mail-in ballot must be postmarked by Election Day (Nov. 3), or dropped off in-person by 8 p.m. at your local polling place.

Check Mail-In Ballot Info
EARLY VOTING

Early voting
Varies locally

MILITARY OR VOTING OVERSEAS

Members of the military, their families, and US citizens living overseas can request a ballot to vote from anywhere in the world.

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Get Ready to Vote
Voter Registration
October 19
DEADLINE PASSED
General Election
November 3
ELECTION DAY
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What's on my ballot?

The address will only be used to determine which districts you are a part of. SmartNews will not store your address or use it for any other reason.

Candidates & Races

President of the United States

Biography

Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. (b. November 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania) is the former Democratic vice president of the United States, serving under President Barack Obama (D) from January 20, 2009, to January 20, 2017. He previously served as a U.S. senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009.

On April 25, 2019, Biden announced that he was running for president of the United States in 2020. With the plurality of pledged delegates, Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee on April 8, 2020, after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) suspended his presidential campaign. Biden crossed the delegate threshold necessary to win the nomination on June 5, 2020, and was formally nominated at the 2020 Democratic National Convention on August 18, 2020.

Biden announced U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D) as his running mate on August 11, 2020. He called her "a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants." Harris is the first Black woman to appear on a major party's ticket in the United States.

On January 12, 2017, President Barack Obama awarded Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his lifetime of public service, marking the final time Obama would present the nation's highest civilian honor. Biden received the award with distinction, an additional honor given only to Pope John Paul II, former President Ronald Reagan, and retired Gen. Colin Powell in the previous three administrations.

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Biography

Donald John Trump (b. June 14, 1946, in Queens, New York) is the 45th and current president of the United States. He assumed office on January 20, 2017. He filed to run for re-election on the same day.

Key policy initiatives during Trump's first term include the United States withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and First Step Act in 2018, reducing the size of the ISIS caliphate, and establishing the Space Force as an independent military branch. Trump has made more than 200 federal judicial appointments, including two U.S. Supreme Court justices.

During his presidency, Trump has issued eight vetoes. To read more about these vetoes, click here.

On December 18, 2019, Trump became the third president in U.S. history to be impeached by the U.S. House. The U.S. Senate acquitted Trump on both charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on February 5, 2020.

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Vice President of the United States

Biography

Kamala Devi Harris (b. October 20, 1964, in Oakland, California) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from California. Harris was first elected to the Senate in 2016. She became the second Black woman elected to the U.S. Senate and the first Indian American to serve in the chamber.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced Harris was his running mate on August 11, 2020. He called her "a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants." Harris is the first Black woman to appear on a major party's ticket in the United States.

Harris previously ran for president of the United States, entering the race on January 21, 2019. She suspended her presidential campaign on December 3, 2019, and endorsed Biden on March 8, 2020.

Harris is the former attorney general of California. She served in the position from 2011 to 2017. She also served as San Francisco's district attorney from 2004 to 2011.

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Biography

Michael Richard "Mike" Pence (b. June 7, 1959, in Columbus, Indiana) is the 48th vice president of the United States, serving in President Donald Trump's (R) administration. He was elected on November 8, 2016, and sworn in on January 20, 2017.

Pence served as the 50th governor of Indiana from 2013 to 2017. As governor, Pence signed into law a 5 percent individual income tax cut in Indiana. He also supported the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015, allowing individuals and businesses to exert a right to the free exercise of religion. In his first year in office, FiveThirtyEight ranked him as the second most conservative governor in the country.

From 2001 to 2013, Pence served as a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. During his final year in the House, Pence was rated a far-right Republican leader based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack.

Pence's press secretary stated that Pence tested negative for coronavirus on March 21, 2020. Pence was tested after one of his staffers tested positive. Click here for more information on political figures impacted by coronavirus.

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Initiatives

California Proposition 14
Stem Cell Research Institute Bond Initiative (2020)
Yes vote icon

A "yes" vote supports issuing $5.5 billion general obligation bonds for the state's stem cell research institute and making changes to the institute's governance structure and programs.

No vote icon

A "no" vote opposes issuing $5.5 billion general obligation bonds for the state's stem cell research institute, which ran out funds derived from Proposition 71 (2004) for new projects in 2019.

California Proposition 15
Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative (2020)
Yes vote icon

A "yes" vote supports this constitutional amendment to require commercial and industrial properties, except those zoned as commercial agriculture, to be taxed based on their market value, rather than their purchase price.

No vote icon

A "no" vote opposes this constitutional amendment, thus continuing to tax commercial and industrial properties based on a property's purchase price, with annual increases equal to the rate of inflation or 2 percent, whichever is lower.

California Proposition 16
Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment (2020)
Yes vote icon

A "yes" vote supports this constitutional amendment to repeal Proposition 209 (1996), which stated that the government and public institutions cannot discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to persons on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education, and public contracting.

No vote icon

A "no" vote opposes this constitutional amendment, thereby keeping Proposition 209 (1996), which stated that the government and public institutions cannot discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to persons on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education, and public contracting.

California Proposition 17
Voting Rights Restoration for Persons on Parole Amendment (2020)
Yes vote icon

A "yes" vote supports this constitutional amendment to allow people on parole for felony convictions to vote.

No vote icon

A "no" vote opposes this constitutional amendment, thereby continuing to prohibit people who are on parole for felony convictions from voting.

California Proposition 18
Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds Amendment (2020)
Yes vote icon

A "yes" vote supports this constitutional amendment to allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in primary elections and special elections.

No vote icon

A "no" vote opposes this constitutional amendment, thereby continuing to prohibit 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in primary elections and special elections.

California Proposition 19
Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions, and Revenue for Wildfire Agencies and Counties Amendment (2020)
Yes vote icon

A "yes" vote supports this constitutional amendment to:  

* allow eligible homeowners to transfer their tax assessments anywhere within the state and allow tax assessments to be transferred to a more expensive home with an upward adjustment;

* increase the number of times that persons over 55 years old or with severe disabilities can transfer their tax assessments from one to three;

* require that inherited homes that are not used as principal residences, such as second homes or rentals, be reassessed at market value when transferred; and

* allocate additional revenue or net savings resulting from the ballot measure to wildfire agencies and counties. 

No vote icon

A "no" vote opposes this constitutional amendment, therefore continuing to:

* allow eligible homeowners to transfer their tax assessments within counties and to homes of equal or lesser market value;

* keep the number of times that persons over 55 years old or with severe disabilities can transfer their tax assessments at one;

* allow the tax assessments on inherited homes, including those not used as principal residences, to be transferred from parent to child or grandparent to grandchild.

California Proposition 20
Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA Collection Initiative (2020)
Yes vote icon

A "yes" vote supports this initiative to add crimes to the list of violent felonies for which early parole is restricted; recategorize certain types of theft and fraud crimes as wobblers (chargeable as misdemeanors or felonies); and require DNA collection for certain misdemeanors.

No vote icon

A "no" vote opposes this initiative to add crimes to the list of violent felonies for which early parole is restricted; recategorize certain types of theft and fraud crimes as wobblers (chargeable as misdemeanors or felonies); and require DNA collection for certain misdemeanors.

California Proposition 21
Local Rent Control Initiative (2020)
Yes vote icon

A "yes" vote supports this ballot initiative to allow local governments to enact rent control on housing that was first occupied over 15 years ago, with an exception for landlords who own no more than two homes with distinct titles or subdivided interests.

No vote icon

A "no" vote opposes this ballot initiative, thereby continuing to prohibit rent control on housing that was first occupied after February 1, 1995, and housing units with distinct titles, such as single-family homes.

California Proposition 22
App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative (2020)
Yes vote icon

A "yes" vote supports this ballot initiative to define app-based transportation (rideshare) and delivery drivers as independent contractors and adopt labor and wage policies specific to app-based drivers and companies.

No vote icon

A "no" vote opposes this ballot initiative, meaning California Assembly Bill 5 (2019) could be used to decide whether app-based drivers are employees or independent contractors.

California Proposition 23
Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative (2020)
Yes vote icon

A "yes" vote supports this ballot initiative to require chronic dialysis clinics to: have an on-site physician while patients are being treated; report data on dialysis-related infections; obtain consent from the state health department before closing a clinic; and not discriminate against patients based on the source of payment for care.

No vote icon

A "no" vote opposes this ballot initiative to require chronic dialysis clinics to: have an on-site physician while patients are being treated; report data on dialysis-related infections; obtain consent from the state health department before closing a clinic; and not discriminate against patients based on the source of payment for care.

California Proposition 24
Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative (2020)
Yes vote icon

A "yes" vote supports this ballot initiative to expand the state’s consumer data privacy laws, including provisions to allow consumers to direct businesses to not share their personal information; remove the time period in which businesses can fix violations before being penalized; and create the Privacy Protection Agency to enforce the state’s consumer data privacy laws.

No vote icon

A "no" vote opposes this ballot initiative to expand the state’s consumer data privacy laws or create the Privacy Protection Agency to enforce the state’s consumer data privacy laws.

California Proposition 25
Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum (2020)
Yes vote icon

A "yes" vote is to uphold the contested legislation, Senate Bill 10 (SB 10), which would replace cash bail with risk assessments for detained suspects awaiting trials.

No vote icon

A "no" vote is to repeal the contested legislation, Senate Bill 10 (SB 10), thus keeping in place the use of cash bail for detained suspects awaiting trials.