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Nothing will stop democracy in America, not even a global COVID-19 pandemic! Every eligible United States citizen will have the opportunity to vote in the Nov. 3, 2020, Presidential Election.

portrait of Brandi Orth

Brandi Orth

Opinion

First, voters should verify their voter registration at https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/ or www.votefresnocounty.com. Voters should be sure their current residential address or mailing address is on file.  Voters can update their voter registration at www.registertovote.ca.gov.  Eligible citizens can register to vote at www.registertovote.ca.gov.

I Recommend Using a Drox Box to Return Your Ballot

The safety of Fresno County voters and election workers is paramount; therefore, additional health precautions will be in effect. California voters will automatically receive a ballot in the mail. If a voter does not receive their ballot by Oct. 12, they should immediately contact our office at (559) 600-8683.

We urge voters to vote the ballot mailed to them and return it through one of the 60-plus secure drop boxes located throughout the county. Drop boxes will be open beginning Oct. 5 until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

While election officials cannot control the postal service, election officials do control the drop boxes. As the Fresno County Clerk, I recommend that voters utilize a drop box to return their ballot. For the convenience of voters, we have added more drop boxes. A list of all drop-box locations will be mailed with the ballots.

Mailed Ballots Must Be Postmarked No Later Than Nov. 3

Voters can mail their ballot (no postage required) back to the Fresno County Elections office. It is a legal requirement that a mailed voted ballot envelope has a postmark showing no later than Tuesday, Nov. 3  (Election Day). The Postal Service advises voters to deposit their ballots in the mail no later than Oct. 27 to ensure that the envelope timely reaches the elections office.

If a voter does not receive their ballot by Oct. 12, they should immediately contact our office at (559) 600-8683.

It also is legally required that the signature on every returned voted ballot envelope is compared to the signature on the voter’s registration card. If a voter thinks that their signature has changed over time, they should contact the Fresno County Elections Office at (559) 600-8683 or re-register online at www.registertovote.ca.gov. The DMV signature may be utilized with online voter registration.

Language Assistance at Voting Centers

If additional services including language assistance or a replacement ballot are required, Fresno County will provide approximately 53 locations for in-person voting opportunities. These Vote Centers will be open on Saturday, Oct. 31, through Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

 All voters should make a safe voting plan. The Fresno County Clerk’s office is here to answer questions or provide assistance.

If you go to a Vote Center, you will be asked to wear a mask and you may have to wait in line. A list of all Vote Centers and drop boxes will be printed in the County Voter Information Guide to be mailed in early October and will be available on the county website.

The main elections office, located at 2221 Kern Street, Fresno, is also open for voting beginning Monday, Oct. 5, through Election Day. All services are provided here so that voters can vote in person and beat the crowds!

Graphic of key facts for November 2020 election

(GV Wire/Alexis DeSha)

How to Track Your Ballot

Voters can track their ballot, by requesting this service at http://wheresmyballot.sos.ca.gov/ to receive automatic email, text, or voice call notifications about their ballot.

For the November election, all voters may request and receive a Remote Accessible Vote by Mail ballot. To request this service, voters should contact our office at (559) 600-8683. Voters may also request an official ballot in Spanish or ask for a translated ballot in Hmong, Punjabi, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Khmer, Tagalog, and Laos by calling (559) 600-8683.

Part-time jobs are available. Vote Center workers are needed for the four-day, in-person voting period. Interested registered voters should call (559) 600-1830 or go to www.fresnocountyjobs.com to apply on-line.

All voters should make a safe voting plan. The Fresno County Clerk’s office is here to answer questions or provide assistance. We can be reached at clerk-elections@fresnocountyca.gov or call (559) 600-VOTE (8683).

About the Author

Brandi L. Orth is the Fresno County Clerk and Registrar of Voters. She has 19 years of service in elections and, for the past eight years has served as county clerk. Orth is also the president of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials.

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