With election day approaching, the Orange County Registrar of Voters is preparing to open 167 voting centers throughout the county, including one in the Santa Ana College gym.
Recently voting centers replaced traditional polling places in California. Unlike the polls of the past, the new centers allow voters to cast their ballot at any location, rather than an assigned polling spot.
Along with the ability to use whatever voting center is most convenient, voters are also allowed to check and make changes to their affiliated party, and register the same day. Voters will be given a voter registration form to fill out, and then a ballot. Their vote will be counted once their registration is verified by the county.
For those who still haven’t registered, Oct. 19 is the final day to pre-register. Beginning Oct. 20, voter registration will be processed as same-day registration.
Although some locations opened as early as 11 days before the primaries back in March, due to COVID-19, all centers will open just five days early, beginning Oct. 30. They will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the exception of election day, Nov. 3. On the final day, voting centers will open an hour earlier, at 7 a.m.
Another change for the upcoming election due to COVID-19 is the distribution of mail-in ballots. On Oct. 5, all Californians registered to vote will receive a mail-in ballot, even if they have not previously opted to receive one. Ballots can be mailed in, turned in at voting centers, or dropped off at any of the nearly 200 secure ballot boxes throughout the county.
For information on how to register, finding voting center and dropbox locations, and other frequently asked questions, visit the Orange County Registrar of Voters website.