Top 6 Common Ballot Mistakes to Avoid – Make Your Vote Count!!

With Early Voting now underway across California, it’s time to get serious about this election! Given all the work we do to #GOTV, it’s important to make sure that we’re taking care with every single step in the voting process to MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT! San Diego County voters, be sure to check out our 2020 Election & Voting Information guide for more logistical help with voting in this year’s election.

One of the biggest mistakes for elections in general is not verifying your voter registration and mailing address. Voters can be purged from the system, so verify early and often that your information is up to date. Ballots cannot be forwarded, so it is critical that you ensure you are registered and that your address on file is correct. October 19th is the last day to register to vote online or by mail for the November election. You can register to vote in person on Election Day.

Online registration application:

Got your ballot? Here are 6 common mistakes to avoid. Let’s make sure that YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!

1. Missing Signature / Date

With so much pressure to vote this year, it’s easy to get distracted and forget a step in the process. If you’re going through all of the steps to vote this year, don’t make one of the most common ballot mistakes. Be sure to SIGN and DATE your ballot before you turn it in.

2. Postmark Too Late

The U.S. Postal Service has issued a warning to voters that mail delays could occur prior to the election. While ALL California registered voters will be receiving a ballot by mail this year, it is important to note that you do not have to return your ballot through the mail. You can return your ballot during Early Voting at any of the following locations. If you send in your ballot too close to election day, you’re taking a risk that it might not be counted in time. Those voting by mail should return their ballot as early as possible or consider dropping it off in person.

3. Signature Mismatch

You may recall back in 2018 that I wrote about the signature mismatch issue in California that caused over 45,000 ballots to be rejected. The ACLU sued CA Secretary of State Alex Padilla for disproportionately disenfranchising minority voters for signature issues–and they WON. A San Francisco Superior Court Judge ruled that voters must be warned about and given a chance to correct any signature mismatch issues. Voters with disabilities may have signatures that change over time, and those whose signature does not include Roman characters, such as many Asian-Americans, are often impacted. If you have concerns that your signatures may not match the one on file, contact your Registrar of Voters or Elections office.

4. Incorrect ink

Do not use pencil or red ink!! Remember those fussy Scantron sheets that are often used for standardized testing? Today’s voting machines use similar technology, so following the directions on your form EXACTLY is imperative. Read your instructions closely and be sure to use the correct ink.

5. Incomplete selection

Similarly, it is important to make sure that you fill in the bubbles for your selections completely. An X or check mark may not be picked up correctly by the scanning machine.

6. Corrections

If you do make a mistake on your ballot, do NOT try to fix it. Simply bring your spoiled ballot to your county election office. If you cannot go in person, call your County Election Office and ask them to cancel your ballot and issue you a new one, ensuring you have enough time to return it by the deadline.

Have your ballot all filled out? Consider asking a trusted friend or relative to review your documentation to ensure that everything has been completed properly.

If you are planning to vote in person, be sure to do your research in advance. You can preview a sample ballot in order to prepare for each race and ensure that you have all the information you need to vote on important ballot measures.

Oceanside Voters, don’t forget that I’m running for Mayor and on the November ballot. For more information on my background, stance on the issues, or corporate-free campaign, you can read more on this website. I would be honored to have your vote!

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YOUR HELP could make the difference in this election!
We need your help to spread the word about Ruben Major’s campaign to be the next Mayor of Oceanside! Ruben is a paramedic and public health educator, a small business owner, a husband and father to 3 kids attending Oceanside schools, and holds a Master’s degree in History and a law degree. He isn’t taking corporate or PAC money and hasn’t taken a dime from developers or special interests groups, so he will represent US and listen to our concerns.
If you have some time to help out, we have a variety of opportunities available and we will help train you. Send an email to with subject line VOLUNTEER and we will contact you. We have a chance this November to elect a Mayor who will truly represent the will of the people, not just special interests and huge corporations.

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