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Frequently Asked Questions About Voting

How can I register to vote?
You may register by mailing a completed Voter Registration Form to the Elections office. Forms are available at public libraries, city and county offices, California Department of Motor Vehicles offices, U.S. Post Offices, or via online download. You can download a form at the following Web sites:

I moved since I last registered. Do I need to re-register?
Yes. If you have a new home address, you need to register at this new residence. If the deadline has passed to register in the place where you now live, request an absentee ballot from your previous address. Then, after the election, be sure to fill out a voter registration form for your new address.

When is the last day I can register?
You must register by October 22, 2012 to vote in the November 6 election.

When is Election Day?
Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

When will the polls be open on Nov. 6?
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where is my polling place?
You can find your polling place on Rock the Vote's Web site. However, keep in mind that this information will be available only as Election Day nears. You may also check the Secretary of State's Web site, or contact the office by phone. You'll find a listing of contact information at Project Vote Smart. Search by the state in which you are registered. Polling information should also be on the documents your state sends you once you register, so hold on to them.

Note that in most states, you do not have to vote in person. See below for information regarding absentee ballots.

How can I obtain an absentee ballot?
If you are eligible, you should request an absentee ballot from your state. Deadlines vary, so contact your Secretary of State or Board of Elections Office early. Your state will send you the ballot; you just fill it out and mail it back. Usually the deadline for the state to receive the form is the time at which the polls close on Election Day--or in some cases, a few days before the election. Contact your Secretary of State or Board of Elections Office for the exact mailing deadlines. Contact information for these offices may be found at the National Association of Secretaries of State, Project Vote Smart or Rock the Vote Web sites. Search by the state in which you are registered.

What if I show up to vote and my name is not on the list?
If your name isn't on the list of registered voters or you forgot to bring identification, ask for a provisional ballot. Poll workers can tell you how to check to make sure your vote is counted.

How do I find information on candidates and their platforms?
Explore Project Vote Smart or visit Congress.org.

Back to De Anza Votes 2012



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Last Updated: 9/21/12