Politics

Human Voter Guide: More voter registration tips and voting via 'will call'

File: A voter holds a sample ballot with her grocery list scribbled on the front page after voting in the midterm elections in 2010.
File: A voter holds a sample ballot with her grocery list scribbled on the front page after voting in the midterm elections in 2010.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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If you’ve been putting off thinking about voting, now's the time to get going. 

Less than three weeks remain until California’s June 7 primary and the deadline to register or change your political party affiliation is Monday. 

But first — perhaps you have questions.

The Human Voter Guide, our Q&A segment on Take Two, aims to help you wade through California's confusing election rules and voting complexities. This is the second segment in the series.

If you have a question, leave a voice mail at or text 323-538-5722.

We start today with a listener's question. 

Q: I’m concerned because my neighbor got his Democratic ballot. I haven’t gotten mine. I think I may have been dropped from the rolls ... Can you help me with a phone number? Because time is of the essence.

This listener brings up a great point. It is possible for a voter to become inactive and dropped from the voter rolls. You can get this fixed, but he’s also right that time is of the essence. If you’re in this situation you’ve got until Monday to get it resolved, that’s the deadline to register.

If you’ve moved recently, or have not voted in a long time, there’s a good chance you might be in this category. 

If you live in Los Angeles County, you can check your voter registration status and register to vote online

Another resource is the statewide voter hotline, which can help you answer any questions you have about voting. The phone number for information in English is 1-800-345-VOTE. You can find phone numbers for hotlines in other languages on the Secretary of State's website

Q: My friend voted in one of the earlier primaries but moved to Los Angeles recently and just re-registered to vote in California. Is it legal for her to vote in another primary election?

The answer is no. It’s illegal to do this. This question was one that election officials had to check on when I asked. But as it turns out there’s a federal law that prohibits voting more than once. 

Q: If voters are out of town on June 7, what can people do? Is it too late to request a vote-by-mail ballot? What are the options?

It’s not too late to request a vote-by-mail ballot. The deadline to request one is May 31. And if that doesn’t work for you, you can also drive directly to your county registrar until June 7 and fill out a ballot there. Some counties may have additional drop-off locations. 

Once you’ve got a vote-by-mail ballot in your hands, remember that it needs to be postmarked on or before June 7 and received by June 10 to count. 

Q: I just wanted to know if I could change the place where I vote. The polling place where I’m supposed to vote is close to my house. But according to my schedule, it would be better closer to my workplace. What can I do?

This listener explained that he's a new voter and he’s worried he may not have time to vote at his home polling location because he takes public transit and has a long commute time. He works about an hour away from his assigned polling location.

If you’re in this situation, here’s what you can do: On June 7, go to any polling location in the county you’re registered in and cast what’s called a provisional ballot. Call 1-800-345-VOTE if you need help finding a location. 

Your vote for any contests you're eligible for will still count. But your ballot might look slightly different than your home ballot. The Secretary of State’s office tells me some local measures might not be on the provisional ballot, depending on how far away your work location is from your home. 

Q: I’ve got to ask you about something the Los Angeles County registrar is launching. I heard they're trying out a “will call” system for ballot pickup and drop-off? Is that right?

Yes, this is a new pilot program that Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan is launching to give people more options for returning their vote-by-mail ballots.

One thing to keep in mind is that this is a two-step process. You first have to request your vote-by-mail ballot by phone or online. Then 48 hours later, it’ll be available for pick up or to vote in person. 

You can request ballots starting on Monday. The drop-off locations will be available May 28 through June 6. There are many drop-off locations. See the full list and contact information for getting the process started below. 

Will-Call Ballot Pickup and Ballot Drop-Off Locations by scprweb

Series: Human Voter Guide

We're in the middle of one of the most contentious elections we've seen in a long time, so there's a lot of interest in voting this year. But there's also a lot of confusion. To help clear the way, we're introducing KPCC's Human Voter Guide, a series of questions-and-answers about the California elections.

Have a question? Email our senior political reporter Mary Plummer, tweet her @maryplummer or leave a voice mail or text at 323-538-5722.