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Want to vote on Nov. 3? Deadline to register is Oct. 19

Skye Kinkade
Siskiyou Daily News
Vote by mail.

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 Presidential General Election is Oct. 19, and the quickest way to register is online at registertovote.ca.gov, said Siskiyou County Clerk Laura Bynum.

Voter registration cards are also available at  Bynum’s office in Yreka and at libraries and post offices throughout the county.

With the pandemic, all registered voters will be mailed a vote-by-mail ballot for the Nov. 3 Election. They’re anticipated to enter the mail system the week of Oct. 5 and arriving soon after.

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Bynum encouraged voters to vote the ballot that is mailed to them. It can be returned in the following ways:

• Via the U.S. Post Office

• The 24-hour drop box at the County Clerk’s Office

• The ballot box located inside the Weed City Hall (available during business hours: Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) 

• Or to any polling place on election day. 

Those who need accessible voting equipment or a replacement ballot can go to polling places throughout the county.

Area residents are encouraged to vote.

Voters who visit a polling place on Election Day are encouraged to take the vote-by-mail ballot they receive in the mail to surrender at the polls.  Polling places will be listed on the back of the voter’s Sample Ballot booklet and will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

“If you do go to a polling place, you will be asked to wear a mask and you may have to wait in line,” said Bynum.

The Siskiyou County Clerk’s Office is located at 510 N. Main Street, Yreka and is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The phone number is (530) 842-8084. 

Those with questions can contact Bynum by phone or email at laura@sisqvotes.org.  

Siskiyou County Clerk Laura Bynum stands next to one of the central count scanners where Siskiyou County's vote by mail ballots are tabulated.

Whether you're voting by mail or heading to the polls to cast your ballot in person, here are some voting questions and answers.

Can I still vote in person, since the ballots are being mailed to everyone?

Yes. Ballots will be mailed to every voter, as required by law  for this election only. But polling places will be open to offer in person voting opportunities for voters who need assistance, Bynum said.

That means the usual 16 polling places will be open on Election Day.

Details about designated polling places for each voter will be indicated on the back of their sample ballot.

Anyone planning to vote in person on Election Day should take their vote by mail ballot to their designated polling place to surrender to the poll workers. 

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Can I check my voter registration status now?

Yes. People can check their voter registration at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov. Sign up now so you can track your ballot www.wheresmyballot.sos.ca.gov to ensure they reach their destination and are counted.

“It will send text or email notifications as their ballot is mailed, received by the clerk’s office and verified,” Bynum said.

To register to vote or to update information, go to www.registertovote.ca.gov.

People can also request information from the elections office at 510 N. Main Street in Yreka, or call (530) 842-8084.

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When must your mail-in ballot be postmarked?

No later than Election Day.

One of the law changes that has been put into effect for this election is a 17-day grace period; current state law only allows a three-day grace period.

“Ballots signed, sealed and postmarked on or before Nov. 3 will be counted if they are received in our office by Nov. 20,” Bynum said. “I’m encouraging voters who wish to return their ballot via the USPS to mail their ballot no later than seven days prior to Election Day.”

Voters who choose to wait until Election Day should go to the post office counter to ensure the postmark is applied, said Bynum.

Voters are encouraged to vote early which is not unusual and has been encouraged with past elections in Siskiyou County.

What are the ground rules on mask use on Election Day?

Voters are asked to wear masks at all polling places or if they come into the office of the Siskiyou County Registrar of Voters.