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Instructions from the Registrar of Voters on returning your mail ballot and voting in person

Voters began receiving mail ballots in the mail after October 5, 2020. A prepaid-postage envelope was included in which to return your ballot. Be sure to complete all required information on the envelope. Be sure to use blue or black ink when you fill out your ballot as ballot scanners cannot read red ink. Make sure to sign and date the back of your return envelope. You can track when your ballot is mailed, received and counted through the Secretary of State’s Where’s My Ballot tracking system. You can sign up to receive notifications about the status of your mail ballot via email, text message, and/or telephone call.

Mail Ballot Drop-Box Locations. Voters can submit completed ballots at drop-box locations listed here. Voted mail ballots may also be dropped off at the Registrar of Voters office, 777 E. Rialto Avenue in San Bernardino, any early vote site, and any polling place.

Polling Places. For voters who want to mark and cast their ballot in person, the County will have 210 polling locations available this election. You can view the locations here. For anyone planning to vote in person, polling places will be open four days this year! The polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on October 31, November 1 and November 2; and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on November 3. Find your assigned polling place and vote early to avoid lines and crowds! #VoteSBCounty #VoteSafeVoteEarly

If you have additional questions about the upcoming election, please visit or read answers to our frequently asked questions. You are also welcome to share our Communications Tool Kit.

6 thoughts on "Instructions from the Registrar of Voters on returning your mail ballot and voting in person"

  1. Carolann Brande says:

    It has been two days after the election and my ballot has not been counted! Just received . How is that possible? My voice for my local district has been silenced. Why has it not been counted?

    1. There is no way to tell voters that their ballot was actually counted. This is because there is no personal information on the ballots themselves to ensure the secrecy of each person’s votes.

      So for mail ballot voters, the last status message that can be provided to the voter is that their ballot was accepted and will be counted. This means that the mail ballot is removed from the return envelope and then is run through a high speed ballot scanner.

      The “accepted” message can be in a notification sent to mail voters who signed up for Where’s My Ballot or can be looked up by mail voters on My Voter Status – This accepted message is not available on ROV’s My Elections Gateway until we certify the election – that’s the way it was programmed and we should not reprogram it during the election.

      For poll voters, the message they can see on the SOS’s My Voter Status website is that they voted at a polling place. This message cannot be seen on My Elections Gateway, as it does not have a polls ballot status look up. After the election is certified, polls voters will only be able to see that they voted in this election.

      The polls ballots cast from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 were all counted by 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 4.



    The person claiming to be the supervisor running the polling place said she was told by the Registrar’s Office to pass out the black markers and claimed we MUST use the markers!
    The Polling Supervisor said the Registrar’s Office knew the ink bled through to the back side of the ballot, however the votes will be counted. A voter showed the supervisor a ballot and told her the name they wrote in the blank box on their ballot bled to the back of the ballot. The voter was given a new ballot.

    This happened in Redlands California at 21 Grant Street Joselyn Senior Center October 31st around 10-11:30.
    THAT’S WHEN IMMEDIATELY CONTACTED THE REGISTRAR’S OFFICE 2 TIMES and filled 2 formal complaints with 2 different customer representatives. They confirmed my information would be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office and told me I would be contacted.

    This was on Saturday October 31st between 10-11:30am

    1. Some voters have asked the Registrar why Sharpie pens are being made available at polling places for marking ballots, expressing concern that a bleed-through pen would void a ballot. Our voting system vendor recommends the use of Sharpie pens and the ballots are readable and the votes are counted. That is because ballot scanners read marks in the oval voting target areas on the ballots. The ovals on one side of a ballot card do not align with the ovals on the other side of the card so the bleed through ink is not read by the ballot scanner.

    2. Maria E unkovich says:

      I voted in Montclair and was told the same thing… The marker bled through my ballot and when I told the worker there, she said my ballot would still be ok???? Not only that, when I was done voting my ballot was not put in a separate envelope and sealed.. it was pt into a wooden box loosely.. not even attached to each other so that my ballot would be identified as mine???? I thought that was rather odd. I have been voting for several years, my ballot has always been put into an envelope, sealed.. I HAVE TO SIGN IT, then it is put into a box….. something is not right here!

      1. It’s OK if the marker bled through your ballot as the scanner only reads the ink inside the bubble and the bubbles are not on the other side that it bled to. Poll ballots are placed right into the poll ballot box without an envelope. You may have brought your mail ballot in the past and in that case, yes, you need to sign the back of the envelope. There is no identifying information on a ballot, just on the envelope. After the election is certified, you can view your voting record (not your actual votes because those are secret) at My Elections Gateway at

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