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Election Dates for 2020

Election Day

A Presidential Primary Election is held on the third Tuesday of March in a presidential election year. The Primary Election is held 11 weeks before the General Election. The Primary Election is for the purpose of  nominating party nominees to be voted for in the General Election to fill a national, state, county, or district office. A General Election is held in November of every even-numbered year. The election dates for 2020 are:

  • Presidential Preference Primary Election: March 17
  • Primary Election: August 18
  • General Election: November 3

Note: Special elections may be called at any time during the year. Local elections may also be held throughout the year. Check the Local Elections Database which contain dates as reported by the county for elections (county-specific, municipal, special district, or other local election) scheduled within one county. Contact your county Supervisor of Elections for the most up-to-date information.

Deadline to Register (Book Closing)

Eligible individuals can register to vote at any time. The deadline to register in order to participate in an upcoming election is 29 days before the election. The registration deadlines for 2020 are:

  • Presidential Preference Primary Election: February 18*
  • Primary Election: July 20
  • General Election: October 5

*Due to federal holiday, the deadline moved from Monday, February 17 to Tuesday, February 18. 

Vote-by-Mail Ballot 'Send' Deadline

For vote-by-mail ballot requests on record, state law requires that the ballots be sent to voters who already have requests on file during specified timeframes.

For absent stateside and overseas uniformed service member and overseas civilian voters (also known as UOCAVA voters), Supervisors of Elections send the ballots no later than 45 days before an election. The send deadlines for 2020 are:

  • Presidential Preference Primary Election: February 1
  • Primary Election: July 4
  • General Election: September 19

For domestic voters, Supervisors of Elections send the ballots during a 7-day window between 40 and 33 days before an election. The send periods for 2020 are:

  • Presidential Preference Primary Election: February 6 – 13
  • Primary Election: July 9 - July 16
  • General Election: September 24 – October 1

Vote-by-Mail Ballot Request and Return Deadlines

The deadline to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed is no later than 5:00 p.m. (local time) on the 10th day before the election. The deadlines for 2020 are:

  • Presidential Preference Primary Election: March 7
  • Primary Election: August 8
  • General Election: October 24

A vote-by-mail ballot must be returned and received no later than 7:00 p.m. (local time) on election day in order to be counted. The deadlines for 2020 are:

  • Presidential Preference Primary Election: March 17*
  • Primary Election: August 18
  • General Election: November 3*

*A 10-day extension exists only for overseas voters for the Presidential Preference Primary and General Election only.

To ensure that ballots are received by the deadline, voters are encouraged to vote and return their voted ballots as soon as received or early enough to account for mail delivery times. The United States Postal Service recommends that domestic nonmilitary voters, mail back their voted ballots at least 1 week before the Election Day deadline to account for any unforeseen events or weather issues. The Federal Voting Assistance Program provides recommended earlier timelines (see timetable at bottom of their webpage) for absent military and overseas voters.

Vote-by-mail ballots may also be returned at secure drop boxes at Supervisor of Elections’ main and branch offices and early voting sites. Please contact the county Supervisor of Elections or visit their website for the location of all vote-by-mail ballot secure drop boxes in your county.

For more information, visit Vote-by-Mail and Military and Overseas Citizens Voting.

Early Voting Period

By law, early voting must be held at least for 8 days. The mandatory early voting periods for 2020 are:

  • Presidential Preference Primary Election: March 7 – 14
  • Primary Election: August 8 – 15
  • General Election: October 24 – 31

Each county Supervisor of Elections may offer more days of early voting from one or more of the following days:

  • Presidential Preference Primary Election: March 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 15
  • Primary Election: August 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 16
  • General Election: October 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and November 1

Check with your county Supervisor of Elections for the additional days of early voting that may be offered in your county.