Polling Places FAQs
How Do I Find Out Where My Election Day Polling Place is Located?
Your polling place location is listed on the back cover of your Sample Ballot Pamphlet. You may also call the Registrar of Voters’ office at 714-567-7600 or access your polling place information using our online lookup feature.
What Hours is My Polling Place Open?
The polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. By law, you have the right to vote if you are in line at the polling place by the close of the polls, 8:00 p.m.
What Do I Do If My Polling Place is not Open When I Arrive on Election Day?
Verify the address on the back cover of your Sample Ballot Pamphlet to confirm that you are at the correct location. Polling place locations often change. If you are at the correct location, call the Registrar of Voters’ office at 714-567-7600 to report that the polling place is not open.
My Polling Place Was at a Home, but There is a School in My Neighborhood. Why Isn't the Polling Place at the School?
The school may not have been available on that date or is not located within your voting precinct.
What Are the Requirements for a Location to be a Polling Place?
To become a polling place, a location must: • Have usable and clear space of at least 600 square feet; • Have adequate lighting indoors and outdoors; • Have ample parking; and • Have the ability to store the voting equipment before and after Election Day. You can volunteer your residence or business as a polling place.
Is My Polling Place Accessible to Voters With Physical Challenges?
Every effort is made to locate a facility that is accessible to all voters. In some cases, we provide temporary modifications such as ramps, signage, and disabled parking set-ups to make the polling place accessible on Election Day.
I am a Physically Challenged Voter. Is There Assistance for Me to Vote?
Yes. Our electronic voting system is compliant with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). It has audio headphones, raised Braille-labeled keys, and adaptive devices that provide large tactile buttons for motor issues as well as sip-n-puff capability. We also provide curbside voting if a voter cannot enter the polling place. In addition, a voter may vote-by-mail if that method is more convenient.
Why are Schools Used as Polling Places?
Elections Code section 12283 allows the use of schools as polling places with the authorization of the governing body. School buildings are often used as polling places as they satisfy Election Day needs and it gives the students an opportunity to see democracy in action.
Why Did My Polling Place Change?
In California, there are not permanent polling places. The locations may change from election-to-election. The most common reason for the change of a polling place location is that the facility is no longer available to serve as a polling place. Other reasons include: Changes to precinct boundaries, the type of election, and the number of registered voters. You should always refer to the back cover of your Sample Ballot Pamphlet to verify your polling place location or use our online lookup feature.
Can I Vote at Any Polling Place?
No. You must go to your residence precinct’s assigned polling place since your name will appear in that precinct’s roster. If you go to a different Orange County polling place, your name will not appear in the roster and you will be allowed to vote provisionally. However, the ballot may be different from the one voted in your residence precinct, so you may be not be able to vote for candidates and measures that directly affect you.
Can I Take My Sample Ballot or My Own Written Voting Notes Into the Voting Booth?
Yes. It is recommended that you mark your voting choices on your Sample Ballot to be used as a reference at your polling place on Election Day. But, remember to take your sample ballot with you upon leaving the voting booth.
If I Do Not Know What to Do at the Polling Place, Will Someone Assist Me?
Yes. Ask the poll worker to help you understand the voting process. Poll workers cannot, however, assist you in making decisions on your voting choices.
Do You Provide Language Assistance at the Polling Places?
Yes. The County of Orange is required by the Federal Voting Rights Act to provide language assistance in multiple languages, in addition to English, at designated polling places. Voters may also call 714-567-7600 from the polling place to receive assistance from an operator who speaks Chinese, Korean, Spanish or Vietnamese.
Why Did I Pass Two Polling Places Enroute to My polling place?
It is often difficult to find facilities that will accommodate our requirements and sometimes we need to choose locations that are geographically close together. However, the polling places do not share the same district lines.
How Do I Offer My Home or Business as a Polling Place?
You may offer your home or business as a polling place by calling 714-954-1901 or by using our online volunteer feature.
Why am I in a Mail Ballot Precinct and Cannot Vote at a Polling Place?
Elections Code section 3005 provides that people who live in precincts with fewer than 250 voters by the 88th day prior to an election may be sent vote-by-mail ballots rather than having a polling place in that precinct. All mail ballot voters are notified of their change in status and are mailed an official ballot.
How Do I Vote If I Can't Get to My Polling Place?
You may request a vote-by-mail ballot in writing. You can: (1) Use the postcard on the Sample Ballot Pamphlet back cover; (2) use our online request feature; (3) complete an online application for a one-time vote-by-mail ballot here; you may submit this application electronically; or (4) write a letter, providing your name, address, mailing address if necessary, birth date, and signature. Applications may be submitted by fax or mail no later than 7 days prior to the election. In addition, you may vote at the Registrar of Voters’ office beginning 29 days prior to the election.
What is to Stop Someone From Voting at Multiple Locations?
If a voter goes to his residence precinct to vote, he/she will sign a roster. Those who sign the roster are recorded as voting in the Registrar of Voters’ database. If a voter attempts to vote in another precinct, his/her name will not appear in the roster; he/she will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are not counted until research is done as to whether the voter voted at another precinct or by a vote-by-mail ballot. Further, he/she may face prosecution by the District Attorney if it is determined the second attempt to vote was willful.