Voter Bill of Rights
Ryan Ronco, County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters
Office of Elections
2956 Richardson Drive
PO Box 5278
Auburn, CA 95604
Phone: (530) 886-5650
E-mail: [email protected]
Your right to vote is important to us. The Placer County Office of Elections compiled this information to explain the election process, your voting rights and some of the services we offer.
#1 - The Right to Vote
You may vote in a scheduled election if you are a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old by Election Day, not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony, live in Placer County, and provide us with a completed voter registration card at least 15 days before the scheduled election. If you go to the polls and you are not listed on our registration rolls, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot. You also have the right to vote as long as you are in line at your polling place before the polls close at 8:00 PM. There are a few exceptions to these rules, so contact the Office of Elections with any questions.
#2 - The Right Not to Vote
State law no longer requires you to vote in every election to stay registered. If none of the candidates or issues interest you by Election Day, you can skip the election and your registration will not be affected. In addition, if your ballot has multiple issues, you are not required to vote on all of them. Blank sections on your ballot will not affect any of your other votes.
#3 - The Right to Vote by Vote-By-Mail Ballot or Permanent Vote-By-Mail Ballot
Whether you are sick, out of town or just like the convenience of voting from home, all California voters have the option of voting a Vote-by-Mail ballot. Telephone our office or complete the application on the back of the sample ballot pamphlet. Your written request for a Vote-by-Mail ballot must be received at least one week before the election to allow enough time to process and mail your ballot. You may also become a Permanent Vote-by-Mail voter (meaning your ballot will always be mailed to you without having to complete an application each election). You may return your completed Vote-by-Mail ballot by mail or at any poll location in the county on Election Day or drop it off at our office. If returning your ballot in person or at a polling location it must be received no later than 8:00 PM on Election Day. If returning by mail it must be postmarked on election day, and it must received in our office by the mail by the Friday after the election.
#4 - The Right to Request Another Ballot
If you make a mistake when voting your official ballot, you may return your spoiled ballot and receive a new one at the polls (or from the Office of Elections if voting a Vote-by-Mail ballot). However, state law only allows us to issue up to two replacement ballots per voter.
#5 - The Right to Assistance and to Ask Questions
Important information is contained in your sample ballot pamphlet, at the polls, and on our website at www.placerelections.com. You can also take your sample ballot pamphlet or other voting guides with you into the polls. If you are physically unable to vote without assistance, we have devices to help you in casting your vote. Also, an election official or other person of your choice can assist you. Your election officials are also available to answer any questions about election procedures.
#6 - The Right to Unbiased Political Information
Many people are frustrated by negative political campaigning so they have decided to stop voting. While we cannot stop negative campaigning completely, we will enforce our “No Negative Attacks” policy for Candidate Statements printed in the sample ballot pamphlet to the best of our ability.
#7 - The Right to Contact the Candidates
Unable to find out how a candidate stands on an issue? The Office of Elections requires each local candidate to provide at least one public telephone number so you can have your questions answered.
#8 - The Right to Watch Ballots Being Counted and Observe the Canvass
Counting ballots is a public process. Eleven days before Election Day, the Office of Elections begins opening and preparing the Vote-by-Mail ballots to be included in Election Night totals. Voters may observe this process, and for years we have invited the public to come and observe Election Night activities. Voters are also allowed to watch what goes on at the polling places on Election Day. For rules on how to be an Election Night or polling place observer, please contact the Office of Elections. After Election Day, the election canvass begins. This is an internal audit required by state law to ensure the accuracy of election results. California election law allows 30 days to conduct the official canvass. During the canvass, Vote-by-Mail and provisional ballots not counted on Election Night are checked for eligibility, write-in votes are tallied, the number of ballots cast is balanced against the number of ballots issued, and a hand count of 1% of all ballots cast in each race is performed to verify the machine count. All aspects of the canvass are open to public inspection.
#9 - The Right to Hold Office and to Make a Difference
Each November election, Placer County has over 200 local offices up for election. Someone has to fill these offices – why not you? If you are registered to vote and live in a district or city going to election, you are most likely eligible. We conduct candidate workshops roughly six months before every major election, which will walk you through the candidate filing process (watch your local newspaper or call us for dates and times).
#10 - The Right to a Fair Election
You have the right to report any illegal or fraudulent activity to our office or to the Secretary of State’s Office. If you believe you have been denied any of your rights, or if you are aware of any election fraud or misconduct, please call us at 530-886-5650, or toll-free in California at 1-800-824-8683, or you may use the Secretary of State’s confidential, toll-free VOTER PROTECTION HOTLINE at 1-800-345-8683.
For more information contact the Placer County Office of Elections at (530) 886-5650, or toll-free in California at 1-800-824-VOTE (8683).
Email: [email protected]
Disclaimer: These are the laws of the State of California as of printing on 3-25-15. Laws are subject to change.