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Q&A: Everything you need to know about mail-in voting

ABC10 spoke with the registrar for elections in Sacramento County, Courtney Bailey-Kanelos, to answer viewer questions about mail-in voting.

It seems the presidential debate Tuesday night led to some new voting questions on Wednesday.

ABC10’s Mike Duffy took some of your questions to a top election official in Sacramento to get answers.

Q: If I voted by mail, can I choose to vote in-person as well?

A: “It is a felony to vote twice. So if you already submit your ballot either by mail or by dropping it off, at that point, you have officially voted. Same with voting in person. We have the ability to verify in real-time whether or not someone has already voted anywhere in California. And if we do see even the attempt to vote twice, we do actually turn that over to the authorities to investigate further.”

Q: Can you still track your ballot if you choose to drop it off?

A: “Yes. So even if you choose to drop it off either at a ballot drop box or vote center or polling place, you get that notification if you sign up for the BallotTrax ballot tracking that will let you know when our office has received and processed your ballot and made your ballot good for counting.”

Q: What if I lost my mail-in vote ballot?

A: If you lost your ballot, no problem at all. This happens all the time. You can actually contact our office or go to any vote center. And once we issue you a new ballot, it will actually void any other ballot that is out there that is tied to your record.” 

Q: What are the requirements for first-time voters?

A: “If you’re a first-time voter in California and you haven’t provided your driver’s license or your last four digits of your social security number when you registered to vote, you will need to provide some form of identification when you vote. And that could be a drivers license, it could be another form of government ID, it could even be utility bills, to prove that you are a real person.”

Q: How do wildfire victims who have lost everything vote?

A: “There are few options for folks who have been devastated and affected by the wildfires throughout the state. One is to contact your local county election official to mail you a ballot to whatever mailing address you would like. There’s also a system called the remote accessible vote by mail, where voters can actually log on and vote, make their selections using a laptop or computer, print out their ballot choices, and return it to the county for counting. The third one is voting in person.

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