California’s polls are open.

It’s time to fulfill your civic duty.

Not sure where your polling place is? For Alameda County, check here; for Contra Costa County, check here.

When you get there, know your rights:

  • You have the right to cast a provisional ballot if your name is not listed on the voting rolls.
  • You have the right to cast a ballot if you are present and in line at the polling place prior to the close of the polls.
  • You have the right to cast a secret ballot free from intimidation.
  • You have the right to receive a new ballot if, prior to casting your ballot, you believe you made a mistake.
  • You have the right to receive assistance in casting your ballot, if you are unable to vote without assistance.
  • You have the right to return a completed vote-by-mail ballot to any precinct in the county.
  • You have the right to election materials in another language, if there are sufficient residents in your precinct to warrant production.
  • You have the right to ask questions about election procedures and observe the election process; the precinct board and elections officials at your polling place should answer those questions or direct you to the appropriate official, so long as persistent questioning doesn’t disrupt the execution of their duties.
  • You have the right to report the denial of any of these rights, or any illegal or fraudulent activity, to a local elections official or to the Secretary of State’s Office, at 1-800-345-VOTE (8683).
  • In most cases, voters are not required to show identification before they cast a ballot. If you are voting for the first time after registering by mail and did not provide your driver license number, California identification number, or the last four digits of your social security number on the registration card, you may be asked to show a form of identification when you go to the polls. Make sure you bring identification with you to the polls or include a copy of it with your vote-by-mail ballot. For a list of the more than 30 acceptable forms of identification, click here.

    Josh Richman

    Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.