As Vote-By-Mail Ballots Go Out, Attorney General Bonta and Secretary of State Weber Urge Californians to Know Their Voting Rights

Monday, August 16, 2021
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – With vote-by-mail ballots on their way to every active registered voter across the state, California Attorney General Rob Bonta and Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. are today urging all Californians to review the California Voter Bill of Rights, learn more about the state’s voting protections, and make a plan to cast their ballot. By law, today is the day by which county elections officials are required to begin mailing each registered voter a vote-by-mail ballot. As soon as you receive your ballot, you may cast your vote by mail or through other options made available in your area by county elections officials.

“The right to freely cast your vote is foundational for our system of government,” said Attorney General Bonta. “But it takes each and every one of us doing our part to help ensure our democracy can thrive. To all Californians: I urge you to know your rights and make a plan today for casting your ballot. At the California Department of Justice, we stand ready to do our part to continue to protect all voters in our state. Now’s the time to make your voice heard.”  

“Last year, we had a record turnout of more than 17.7 million voters. Registration numbers continue to rise to over 22 million. Democracy clearly matters to the people of California,” said Secretary of State Weber. “To ensure that the outcome of the upcoming recall election reflects the will of the people, Californians have my commitment and that of the Attorney General to protect the right of every eligible voter — regardless of party — to cast their ballot.” 

Despite the devastating impacts of the global pandemic, a record number of Californians were able to safely and securely vote during the 2020 General Election. As in that election, every voter in the upcoming recall election will have the option of voting by mail. All vote-by-mail ballots come with a postage paid envelope and, as long as it is postmarked by Election Day on Sept. 14, 2021, may be validly cast at no cost to the voter through the mail. Every vote matters and both the California Department of Justice and Secretary of State’s Office remain committed to ensuring that all elections in the state are safe, fair, and accessible to every voter. On Election Day, the California Department of Justice is on call to provide additional assistance to the Secretary of State’s Office in enforcing California’s election laws where needed through a team of attorneys and administrative staff located across the state.

However, one of the first lines of defense on Election Day is California’s voters and knowing your rights is an essential part of helping keep our elections safe and secure. To that end, the California Voter Bill of Rights is available on the Secretary of State’s website in nearly 30 different languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Burmese, Gujarati, Hmong, Ilocano, Indonesian, Laotian, Mien, Mongolian, Nepali, Persian, Punjabi, Syriac, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. To download the California Voter Bill of Rights in your language, visit:

In California, you have the following rights: 

  • The right to vote if you are a registered voter;
  • The right to vote if you are a registered voter even if your name is not on the list;
  • The right to vote if you are still in line when the polls close;
  • The right to cast a secret ballot;
  • The right to get a new ballot if you have made a mistake;
  • The right to get help casting your ballot;
  • The right to drop off your completed vote-by-mail ballot at any polling place;
  • The right to get election materials in a language other than English;
  • The right to ask questions to elections officials about election procedures; and
  • The right to report any illegal or fraudulent election activity.

If you believe you have been denied any of these rights or you are aware of any election fraud or misconduct, please call the Secretary of State’s confidential toll-free Voter Hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683). Under California law, voters are protected from, among other things, election interference, voter intimidation, and electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place. California law enforcement agencies are empowered to enforce California’s election laws, including during voting that occurs between now through Election Day. More information on California laws protecting the rights of voters can be found in a law enforcement bulletin available here.

Lastly, it’s important to make sure you have a plan to cast your ballot by Election Day. You can visit for more helpful information on the election. You can also track your vote-by-mail ballot by signing up with the Secretary of State’s Office at for text, email, or voice status alerts.

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