Mail ballots go out starting Tuesday
Any California voter may opt to vote by mail instead of marking a ballot at the polls, so long as he or she requests a mail ballot by the Oct. 30 deadline. County elections officials must receive a mail ballot by the time polls close Nov. 6 for it to be counted.
Local elections officials will begin mailing ballots on Tuesday because post offices were closed Monday for Columbus Day.
Mail ballot applications are available through county elections officials and on sample ballots recently sent to voters. The last day to register is Oct. 22.
Secretary of State Debra Bowen said mail ballots accounted for 65% of the June 5 primary vote.
The increase in mail balloting's popularity has created a challenge for candidates, who can no longer wait until shortly before polls open to get their messages to voters. Nor do they want to do so too soon, before voters are paying attention.
-- Jean Merl
Photo: Election clerk Michael Daniels takes a mail ballot from a voter at a drive-up collection point in Sacramento on the day of the June 5 primary. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press