How to make sure your ballot gets counted in the first posting of election night results

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Maybe you’re too busy to vote early, or you worry about a late-breaking scandal, or you just like tradition.

Even with the shift to vote-by-mail ballots, California requires counties to offer locations to vote in person. As a Voter’s Choice Act county, Yolo County will have three Vote Centers open 10 days prior to Election Day, and an additional 10 Vote Centers open three days prior to Election Day. All 13 Vote Centers are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on March 5, (Election Day). If you lose your ballot or mismark it, you can also get a new one at a Vote Center.

Yolo County also has a Mobile Vote Center which will be stationed in the rural communities of Zamora, Guinda, Dunnigan, Madison, Knights Landing, Clarksburg and Yolo beginning Feb. 27 and continuing to March 4. Visit to learn the specific dates for where the Mobile Vote Center will be located.

The Mobile Vote Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and can help people by accepting their vote-by-mail ballots, voting in person, issuing a replacement vote-by-mail ballot, or registering those who want to vote.

If you’re holding onto your ballot because you need more time to research your vote, consider returning it at an official Ballot Drop Box, which are available at stores, post offices and county libraries. You can find the locations on our website: The Ballot Drop Boxes are checked every 48 hours and daily during the week leading up to the election. Vote-by-mail ballot envelopes picked up directly by our staff at a drop box get into the signature verification process quicker than those sent through the mail.

And don’t forget that, while voters registered with any party can cast a ballot in most primaries in California, the partisan presidential race has different rules. To vote for a Republican, Peace and Freedom, or Green party presidential primary candidate, you must be registered with that party. Voters who wish to vote for a Democratic, Libertarian or American Independent party candidate can do so if they are registered to vote for that party. These last three parties also allow for No Party Preference voters to participate in their primary presidential election if a cross-over ballot is requested.

Look to your Voter Information Guide for more details. If you still have questions, email the elections office at [email protected] or call the Yolo County Elections Office at (800) 649-9943.

However you vote, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible. This makes it easier for you and the Elections Office staff so we can finalize the results as soon as possible.

Written by Jesse Salinas - Yolo County Assessor, Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters.