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Voting Information

If you are registered to vote, you will be mailed a sample ballot and voter information pamphlet approximately three weeks prior to an election. If you do not receive a sample ballot and voter information pamphlet at least a week prior to an election, call the Registrar of Voters Office. It is important that your voter registration reflect both your current residence address and mailing address if different than your residence. Because sample ballots reflect the candidates and issues for the area in which you reside, they cannot be forwarded. The sample ballot and voter information pamphlet materials include:

  • The date of the election.
  • A copy of the ballot you will receive at the polls.
  • Information concerning candidates and measures.
  • The location of your polling place for the election.
  • Whether or not your polling place is accessible to the disabled.
  • An application for a vote-by-mail ballot.

Save time on election day by marking your sample ballot in advance. Take it with you to the polling place to use as a guide when you complete your official ballot. If you need assistance marking your official ballot, you may have up to two people of your choice assist you; however, you may not be assisted by your employer, union representative, an agent of your employer or union representative.

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Where To Vote:

You may vote at the polling place shown on your sample ballot between the hours of 7:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. on election day. Polling place locations change from one election to another. Always check your sample ballot for the location of your polling place. To avoid lines at the polls, try to vote during "non-rush hours"- mid-morning or mid-afternoon. If you are not able to vote at your polling place on election day, you may apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. Please see that sub category for details. If you have moved within Sonoma County since you last registered to vote, you should call the Registrar of Voters Office to determine whether you are eligible to vote. If so, you will be allowed to vote either at the Registrar of Voter's Office or at the polling place for your new address. You will be required to provide specific identification. If you moved within 15 days of the election, it is legal to vote at your former polling place; however, this is the only instance in which you may return to a former polling place to vote.

Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office:
General Information: 707.565.6800
Toll Free Number: 1.800.750.VOTE (8683)
TDD for Hearing Impaired: 707.565.6888
FAX: 707.565.6843

Registering To Vote

You must be registered to vote 15 days prior to an election to be eligible to vote.

If you need a form printed in Spanish, or for assistance in the Spanish language, call 1.800.232.VOTA (8682)

Voter Registration Form - en Español
(available in Adobe pdf format - approximately 169 KB)

To obtain a registration form, visit the California Secretary of State Site

  • Complete requested information.
  • A postage-paid reply form will be mailed to you for your signature.

You can register to vote anytime if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are a United States citizen and a resident of California
  • You are 18 years of age, or will turn 18 on or before election day
  • You are not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony

You should re-register to vote if you:

  • Move
  • Change your name
  • Wish to change your political party

You should also inform the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office of any change in your mailing address. Voters' residence addresses, telephone numbers and precinct numbers are confidential; however, all voter registration information is available for political, governmental, journalistic or educational research purposes.

New Citizens should contact the Registrar of Voters Office for special registration and voting provisions.

To Contact the Registrar of Voters Office:
General Information: 707.565.6800
Toll Free Number: 1.800.750.VOTE (8683)
TDD for Hearing Impaired: 707.565.6888
FAX: 707.565.6843

Vote-by-Mail

If you are registered to vote, you may apply for a vote-by-mail ballot by:

1. Completing an Application for Vote-by-Mail Ballot

  • An Application is included in the Sample Ballot/Voter Information Pamphlet sent to each voter.
  • Applications are also available from the Registrar of Voters Office or from the California Secretary of State website.
  • Many campaign organizations mail Applications to registered voters


2. Sending a written request for an vote-by-mail ballot to the Registrar of Voters Office which includes:

  • The election for which you are requesting a ballot
  • Your name
  • Your residence address
  • The address to which you would like your ballot mailed (if different than your residence address)
  • Your signature


3. Applying in person at the Registrar of Voters Office. If you apply in person at the Registrar of Voters Office, you will be given your ballot at that time. You may either vote your ballot at the Registrar of Voters Office, or you may return your ballot by mail. The office hours are:

  • Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Evenings and weekends as necessary. Please call for evening and weekend hours.

Regardless of how you apply, you may request an vote-by-mail ballot as early as 29 days prior to an election. If your written request or application is received prior to 29 days before the election it will be held until that time. The last date for requesting an vote-by-mail ballot by mail is 7 days prior to an election, after which time vote-by-mail ballots are available only by applying in person at the Registrar of Voters Office or by sending a representative, authorized by you in writing, to the Registrar of Voters Office to pick up your ballot for you. Representatives may include the following: spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or person residing in the same household as the vote-by-mail voter, who is 16 years of age or older. Ballots issued within 7 days of the election may be returned personally or by an authorized representative, but may not be returned by mail.In Sonoma County, you may vote your vote-by-mail ballot with a #2 black lead pencil. After voting your ballot, place the ballot card(s) into the secrecy envelope provided and then into the Identification Envelope. Important! You must sign where indicated on the Identification Envelope or your ballot will not be counted!

Voted Vote-by-Mail Ballots may be returned as follows:

 

  • By mail to the Registrar of Voters Office at any time, providing your voted ballot is received by the Registrar of Voters Office no later than 8:00 p.m. on election day.
  • Personally to the Registrar of Voters Office at any time, providing your voted ballot is received by the Registrar of Voters Office no later than 8:00 p.m. on election day.
  • Personally to any polling place in Sonoma County prior to 8:00 p.m. on election day.
  • By a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling or any person residing in the same household authorized by you in writing, to the Registrar of Voters Office at any time, providing your voted ballot is received by the Registrar of Voters Office no later than 8:00 p.m. on election day.
  • By a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling or any person residing in the same household authorized by you in writing, to any polling place in Sonoma County prior to 8:00 p.m. on election day.
  • If the ballot was issued within seven days of the election, personally or by any person authorized in writing by the voter, providing the authorization statement is complete.

Any voter may apply for Permanent Vote-by-Mail Status by:

1. Sending a written request for Permanent Vote by Mail Status to the Registrar of Voters Office which includes:

  • Your name
  • Your residence address
  • The address to which you would like your ballot mailed (if different than your residence address)
  • Your signature

2. Completing an Application for Permanent Vote-by-Mail Status obtained from the Registrar of Voters office, (707) 565-6800.

3. You may mark the box requesting Permanent Vote-by-Mail Status on the Application for Permanent Vote-by-Mail Status, which is included in the Sample Ballot/Voter Information Pamphlet sent to each voter.

4. Applying in person at the Registrar of Voters Office, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Because the Registrar of Voters staff works evenings and weekends only as necessary, please call for evening and weekend hours.

You may apply for Permanent Vote-by-Mail Status at any time. Ballots will be mailed to voters with Permanent Vote-by-Mail Status approximately 29 days prior to an election. Your name will remain on the list of Permanent Vote-by-Mail Status unless you fail to return a voted ballot in two consecutive statewide general elections, in which case your voter registration will remain active, but it will be necessary to re-apply for Permanent Vote-by-Mail Status.

Services for Voters with Special Needs

The Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office provides a number of services to voters with special needs including:

  • A TDD for the hearing impaired: 707.565.6888.
  • State propositions and local measures (including arguments and analyses) on tape, for the vision impaired.
  • Information on polling place accessibility. Each polling place is surveyed to determine accessibility. Whether or not your polling place is accessible is indicated in the upper right-hand corner of the address label on your sample ballot by either the word "YES" or the word "NO." If your polling place is not accessible, you may contact the Registrar of Voters Office for information regarding your polling place's accessibility disqualification, or you may choose to take advantage of either curbside voting or absentee voting.
  • Large type instructions (posted) and magnification pages (available on request) at the polls, for the vision impaired.
  • At least one accessible voting booth at each polling place. This booth may be used by voters using wheelchairs, or any voter who has difficulty standing to mark his or her ballot may vote at this booth by pulling a chair up to the booth.
  • An adapter at each polling place to make the marking pen easier to grasp.
  • Assistance marking your official ballot. You may have up to two people of your choice assist you; however, you may not be assisted by your employer, union representative, an agent of your employer or union representative.
  • Curbside voting. If your polling place is not accessible, you may vote in any area as close to the polling place as possible. Someone must alert the precinct officers for you, and they will bring the voting materials to you.
  • Polling place survey cards at every polling place. If you would like to comment on your polling place, please request one of these cards from the precinct officers or call the Registrar of Voters Office.
  • Permanent vote-by-mail status. (See above)

 

 

 

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Contact Information

City Clerk,
Claire Cooper, CMC

11 English Street
Petaluma, CA 94952
phone: 707.778.4360
fax: 707.778.4554
email: cityclerk@ci.petaluma.ca.us
Hours:
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Mon-Thurs
Closed Fridays

 

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