Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Voter's Choice Act

Why the Voter’s Choice Act for Yolo County?

The Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) is ideal for Yolo County because it modernizes elections to reflect the choices voters are already making on how, when, and where they vote.

All voters will receive a Vote by Mail ballot, and instead of being limited to voting at one polling place on Election Day, voters will now be able to vote…

  • by returning their ballot through the postal service using our pre-paid postage envelope; or
  • by dropping your Vote by Mail ballot  in one of many Ballot Drop Boxes securely and conveniently located throughout the county;* or
  • in person at any Vote Center in Yolo County (as early as 10 days before Election Day); or
  • at our office at 625 Court St., Suite B-05, Woodland, CA 95204 (as early as 29 days before Election Day).

*Actually, you can drop off your Vote by Mail ballot at any official ballot drop box in California and the Yolo County Elections Office will receive your ballot.

Why am I receiving a ballot? I didn't request a vote-by-mail ballot.

With the passage of Assembly Bill 37 in 2021, all registered voters in California will be mailed an official ballot. A voter is not required to vote on the ballot mailed to them. With the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA), voters have greater flexibility in where and when they cast a ballot in person. Traditionally, voters could only vote in person at a specific location in their residential neighborhood during the 13 hours polling places were open on Election Day or at the elections office. The VCA opens opportunities for voters to vote at any Vote Center in the county. The Vote Centers will even be open on weekends.

Voters often choose to vote on the ballot mailed to them because of the convenience or because something unexpected came up in their lives. Getting the ballot mailed to you gives you more options.

How do I return the ballot I received in the mail?

There are four ways to return your ballot:

  • by dropping off your ballot at any open official Ballot Drop Box in California. For more information see the Ballot Drop Boxes and Locations page.
  • by dropping off your ballot at any open Voting Location (Vote Center or Polling Place) in California, including our Mobile Vote Center.
  • by dropping off your ballot at any open U.S. Postal Service blue collection box or post office. The return identification envelope does not require postage (stamps). Please note the time of pick-up if you are dropping it off on Election Day, as the return identification envelope must be postmarked on or before Election Day.
  • by mailing your ballot through your local letter carrier to be postmarked on or before Election Day. The return identification envelope does not require postage (stamps).

What is a Vote Center?

A “Vote Center” is a universal polling place where any registered voter in Yolo County may vote. Simply stated, with Vote Centers, there is no wrong place to vote.

Voting Locations-Vote Centers and

Yolo County's Mobile Vote Center

How do I vote privately and independently if I need assistance to vote on the ballot mailed to me?

You do not have to use the ballot that is mailed to you. Each Vote Center will have at least three (3) accessible ballot marking devices (called Touch Writers) so all voters can cast a ballot privately and independently.

Voters can still bring up to two people to assist them during the voting process at a Vote Center, including a poll worker, as long as the person helping is not the voter’s employer or union representative.

Vote Centers will also offer bilingual resources.

Voters can use our Remote Accessible Vote-by-Mail (RAVBM) system to get an accessible vote-by-mail ballot that uses their own screen reader technology to assist the voter in marking the ballot privately and independently.

Please call the Yolo County Elections Office at (530) 666-8133 to find out more about the accessible voting equipment, Remote Accessible Vote-by-Mail, and what language assistance is available at the Vote Centers near you.

How is this different from how we voted in 2020 and 2021?

It’s not that different at all from how we voted in the November 2020 general election and the September 2021 recall election. Adopting the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) officially moved Yolo County from assigned polling places last used in the March 2020 primary election. The VCA also carries specific requirements for the number of vote centers, the number of official ballot drop boxes, and the number of informational mailings to voters.

How will people find out about the change from polling places to vote centers?

Voters find out vote centers through an outreach campaign that includes direct contact efforts and indirectly through advertisements,  social media posts, and various community events if they can be safely restarted again in the future.

  • The Yolo County Elections Office will contact each voter by mail at least two times, in addition to the regular County Voter Information Guide and the Vote-by-Mail ballot mailing packet.
  • The Yolo County Elections Office is creating public service announcements and working closely with media outlets such as local newspapers, radio stations, and television. We are issuing Press Releases to let media outlets know about the change so they can help get the word out. We also plan to use our social media outlets to get the word out, with our Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube accounts.
  • The Yolo County Elections Office participates in community events throughout the year and works with local community, disability, and language-specific groups and service organizations to educate the public. If you know of any events that you would like the Yolo County Elections Office to participate in, please email [email protected] with more information.

How can I find out more details about what the Voter’s Choice Act will be like in Yolo County?

The Yolo County Elections Office drafted an Elections Administration Plan that provided a detailed roadmap to implementing the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA). Currently, we are working on the 2024 renewal of the Election Administration Plan and are open to questions and comments at any time. Click here to read the Yolo County Draft Election Administration Plan on our website, Email [email protected] to ask questions, make suggestions, provide comments, and voice concerns.