What to Do With Your Mail-In Ballot On Election Day: Drop Box Locations & More

Answer these questions and we'll help you decide

A woman deposits her ballot in an official ballot drop box at the satellite polling station outside Philadelphia City Hall on October 27, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mark Makela

It's Election Day for the California Gubernatorial Recall Election and you still have your mail-in ballot. What should you do?

Answer these questions and we'll help you decide:

  1. Have you already voted in-person at one of the 222 polling locations in San Diego County?

If you still have your ballot, that means a poll worker gave you a provisional ballot at the voting location. That ballot will be counted as soon as the Registrar's Office can be sure you haven't also submitted your vote-by-mail ballot. You can shred your vote-by-mail ballot or return it to a local polling place to be discarded.

Proceed to question 2.

2. If you haven't voted in person yet, have you fill out your ballot?

Make sure it is sealed, signed and taken to a ballot drop-off location (or any polling place) before 8 p.m. on Sept. 14. Find one near you here.
You can also return your ballot by mail by dropping it into any U.S. Postal Service Collection Box but you must ensure it will be postmarked by Election Day, Sept. 14. If you're cutting it close (which, if you're reading this on Election Day, you are), it's better to drop it off at one of the Registrar's 131 drop boxes.

Fill it out and follow the steps above. Or, proceed to question 3.

3. If you haven't filled out your ballot yet, would you rather vote in person?

Even if you received a mail-in ballot, you can vote in person for the California recall election. To do so, bring your unsealed ballot to any polling location before 8 p.m. on Election Day. A poll worker will swap your ballot for a polling place ballot.

Follow the steps in question 2.

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