Voter Guide 2020: Everything you need to know about voting in Southern California

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The 2020 General Election is slowly approaching. Millions of people will get to cast their ballots in November but before you hit the polls, here is everything you need to know about voting in Southern California. 

When can I vote?

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. You can visit a local vote center from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Vote centers will be open every day beginning October 24 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

All registered voters in California this year will be issued a mail-in ballot by Oct. 5. 

You can personally deliver your ballot to a vote center before closing time on November 3rd. If you vote by mail in ballot your ballot must be postmarked on or before November 3, 2020, and received by your county elections office no later than November 20, 2020.

Some counties are offering a new tool called “Where MY Ballot?” that allows voters to track the status of their mail in ballots. To see if your county is participating, visit: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-status/wheres-my-ballot/

RELATED: Click here for more news related to the upcoming 2020 election

Where can I vote?

You can cast your ballot at any of your local vote centers. In Los Angeles County vote centers will be available beginning Saturday, October 24 and all vote centers will be available Friday, October 30.

This year several Los Angeles arenas like Dodger StadiumSoFi Stadium the Forum in Inglewood and the Honda Center in Anaheim have transformed into a vote center.

The Hollywood Bowl and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the downtown Music Center were added on to the list of venues that will serve as voting centers for the November election. Universal CityWalk will also serve as a vote center for Los Angeles County residents. 

All three venues will be open beginning Oct. 24 for people to cast their ballots, regardless of the voter's city of residence.  

Once you vote, you can drop off your ballot at any United States Post Office or at various remote drop box locations around Southern California. The drop boxes are safe and secure. Visit this story for a list of drop box locations.

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• SoFi Stadium, Hollywood Park to serve as voting center for November election• Universal CityWalk to serve as vote center for November election

For the first time in history, Honda Center will serve as a vote center, which will provide a full-service voting experience to Orange County voters and opens October 30.

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Orange County Registrar of Voters election services workers demonstrate voting in the drive-thru at the Super Vote Center Site" during a media event to show how voters can opt to walk-in or drive-thru vote, which starts Oc

You can find a local vote center by visiting the California Secretary of State website

What is different this year?

What makes voting different in the 2020 General Election is that due to COVID-19 all registered voters in California will receive a vote-by-mail ballot. County officials will begin mailing ballots by October 5. State officials say vote-by-mail will help ensure safe physical distancing at voting centers. 

You can visit vote.ca.gov for more information and tools for this year’s election.

RELATED: California to send voters mail-in ballots for November election

Voter Registration 

According to the state, Californians must be registered to vote at least 15 days before Election Day. If the registration deadline has passed you can check with your county if same day voter registration is available. 

Visit caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov for a list of early voting locations where you can complete the Same Day Voter Registration Process. If you need to register on Election Day you can use the state’s polling place lookup tool online to find a local polling location.

Once you register, you may vote in all state and local elections. You do not need to register again unless you change your name or political party preference. If you move, you can update your California residence address by re-registering online or by submitting a paper voter registration application. 

Register to vote in California 

Eligibility Requirements

In the state of California you can register to vote if you meet the following requirements. 

  • Must be a United States citizen and a resident of California
  • Must be 18 years old or older on Election Day
  • Not currently in state or federal prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony 
  • Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court

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County by county breakdown 

Los Angeles County 

Los Angeles County has created virtual maps online so voters can easily find their local drop-off ballot boxes as well as vote centers.

County Supervisor Janice Hahn said the drop-off or vote-by-mail system are the safest ways to vote amid the COVID-19 pandemic. People can also take their completed vote-by-mail ballot and “skip the line" to drop it off in-person at any vote center.

Select voting centers will open Oct. 24, with all centers open by Oct. 30. 

The map of vote centers and their availability can be found at
locator.lavote.net/locations/vc

The locations of drop-off ballot boxes can be found at locator.lavote.net/locations/vbm/.

To register to vote visit lavote.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials announced that free service will be provided on Election Day and that vote-by-mail ballot drop-off boxes have been placed at 19 rail and bus stations.

The free service applies to rail and bus lines, and Union Station and El Monte Station will be used as official vote centers from Oct. 24 through Nov. 3.

Ventura County 
To register to vote as well as to locate a vote center visit recorder.countyofventura.org

Orange County
To register to vote as well as to locate a vote center visit ocvote.com

San Bernardino County    
To register to vote as well as to locate a vote center visit sbcountyelections.com

Riverside County

This year there will be at least 120 polling places available countywide, though the emphasis is on vote-by-mail ballots in deference to public health protocols.

There will be 80 vote-by-mail drop-off locations, including libraries, senior centers, municipal and county offices, that will be established over the next week.

To register to vote as well as to locate a vote center visit voteinfo.net

Prop 14: Authorizes bonds continuing stem cell research 

Summary: Authorizes $5.5 billion state bonds for: stem cell and other medical research, including training, research facility construction, administrative costs. Dedicates $1.5 billion to brain- related diseases. Expands related programs. Fiscal Impact: Increased state costs to repay bonds estimated at about $260 million per year over the next roughly 30 years.


Prop 15: Increases funding sources for public schools, community colleges, and local government sources by changing tax assessment of commercial and industrial property.

Summary: Taxes such properties based on current market value, instead of purchase price. Fiscal Impact: Increased property taxes on $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion in new funding to local governments and schools. 

RELATED: Here's FOX 11's report looking at both sides of Prop 15


Prop 16: Allows diversity as a factor in public employment, education, and contracting decisions. Legislative constitutional amendment. 

Summary: Permits government decision-making policies to consider race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in order to address diversity by repealing constitutional provision prohibiting such policies. Fiscal Impact: No direct fiscal effect on state and local entities. The effects of the measure depend on the future choices of state and local government entities and are highly uncertain. 

RELATED: Proposition 16 to restore affirmative action is on the California ballot


Prop 17- Restores the right to vote after completion of prison term. Legislative constitutional amendment. 

Summary: Restores voting rights upon completion of prison term to persons who have been disqualified from voting while serving a prison term. Fiscal Impact: Annual county costs, likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars statewide, for voter registration and ballot materials. One-time state costs, likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, for voter registration cards and systems. 


Prop 18- Amends California Constitution to permit 17-year-olds to vote in primary and special elections if they will turn 18 by the next general election and be otherwise eligible to vote. Legislative constitutional amendment. 

Summary: Fiscal Impact: Increased statewide county costs likely between several hundreds of thousands of dollars and $1 million every two years. Increased one-time costs to the state of hundreds of thousands of dollars. 


Prop 19: Changes certain property tax rules. Legislative constitutional amendment. 

Summary: Allows homeowners who are over 55, disabled, or wildfire/disaster victims to transfer primary residence’s tax base to replacement residence. Changes taxation of family-property transfers. Establishes fire protection services fund. Fiscal Impact: Local governments could gain tens of millions of dollars of property tax revenue per year, probably growing over time to a few hundred million dollars per year. Schools could receive similar property tax gains.


Prop 20: Restricts parole for certain offenses currently considered to be non-violent. Authorizes felony sentences for certain offenses currently treated only as misdemeanors. Initiative statute. 

Summary: Limits access to parole program established for non-violent offenders who have completed the full term of their primary offense by eliminating eligibility for certain offenses. Fiscal Impact: Increase in state and local correctional, court, and law enforcement costs likely in the tens of millions of dollars annually, depending on implementation. 


Prop 21: Expands local government’s authority to enact rent control on residential property. Initiative statute. 

Summary: Allows local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old. Local limits on rate increases may differ from statewide limit. Fiscal Impact: Overall, a potential reduction in state and local revenues in the high tens of millions of dollars per year over time. Depending on actions by local communities, revenue losses could be less or more.  


Prop 22: Exempts app-based transportation and delivery companies from providing employee benefits to certain drivers. Initiate statue. 

Summary: Classifies app-based drivers as “independent contractors,” instead of “employees,” and provides independent-contractor drivers other compensations, unless certain criteria are met. Fiscal Impact: Minor increase in state income taxes paid by rideshare and delivery company drivers and investors.

RELATED: The benefits and drawbacks of California Prop. 22


Prop 23: Establishes state requirements for kidney dialysis clinics. Requires on-site medical professional. Initiative statue. 

Summary: Requires physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant on site during dialysis treatment. Prohibits clinics from reducing services without state approval. Prohibits clinics from refusing to treat patients based on payment source. Fiscal Impact: Increased state and local government costs likely in the low tens of millions of dollars annually. 


Prop 24: Amends consumer privacy laws. Initiative statute. 

Summary: Permits consumers to: prevent businesses from sharing personal information, correct inaccurate personal information, and limit businesses’ use of “sensitive personal information,” including precise geolocation, race, ethnicity, and health information. Establishes California Privacy Protection Agency. Fiscal Impact: Increased annual state costs of at least $10 million, but unlikely exceeding low tens of millions of dollars, to enforce expanded consumer privacy laws. Some costs would be offset by penalties for violating these laws.


Prop 25: Referendum on laws that replaced money bail with system based on public safety and flight risk.

Summary: A “Yes” vote approves, and a “No” vote rejects, law replacing money bail with system based on public safety and flight risk. Fiscal impact: Increased costs possibly in mind hundreds of millions of dollars annually for a new process for release from jail prior to trial. Decreased county jail costs, possibly in high tens of millions of dollars annually. 

RELATED: Proposition 25 would make California the first state to end cash bail system


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