Last Minute Questions for Voting in San Diego: Need a Ride to the Polls? Can I Still Register? Are Ballot Selfies Okay? Do I Need an ID?

by on November 5, 2018 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Don’t let real or imagined barriers keep you from voting on election day, 2018. “Look for the helpers!” as Mr. Rogers used to say.

There are many ways to get help, and we’ve tried to put them all in one place.

Need a ride to the polls?

The folks at Lyft got my attention with a press release claiming 15 million people were registered to vote in 2016 but didn’t cast a ballot due to transportation problems.

So if getting to your polling place is an issue, Lyft is offering discounted and free rides on November 6th. You’ll have to jump through some hoops to take advantage of this deal, so here’s the fine print:

  • You need the Lyft app installed in your smartphone. When you sign up for a ride, they’ll send you a discount code on election day.
  • Promo codes are valid for 50% off any standard ride to a polling location on Election Day (Nov. 6th, 2018), up to $5.
  •, Nonprofit Vote, TurboVote and others are distributing discount codes, or you can sign up via Buzzfeed at this link.
  • Free rides are available thru various non-profits including: Voto Latino, local Urban League affiliates, the National Federation of the Blind, Faith in Action, League of Women Voters, and the Student Vets of America.

Uber is offering a $10 off coupon for rides to the polls. Nationally they’re partnering with #VoteTogether and Democracy Works. Make sure you read the fine print.

Lime says entering the code LIME2VOTE18 will unlock any of their full fleet of shared bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters for a free ride to and from polling locations up to 30-minutes.

Am I registered to vote?

Registered voters can check their voter registration status and voter preferences using the “My Voter Status” tool at

Where do I vote on election day?

  • The Sample Ballot and Voter Information Pamphlet you received in the mail from the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters has the polling place info on the back page.
  • County of San Diego Registrar of Voters site here includes polling place locations and other general info.
  • You can enter your zip code and address at the League of Women Voters site here and receive polling place info.
  • California Secretary of State site here
  • You can call the Central Library at 619-236-5800 or call or visit your local library

Where are the early voting locations?

  • Any registered voter can visit their county elections office in person to drop off their vote-by-mail ballot or request to vote a vote-by-mail ballot on or before Election Day. The list for San Diego County is here.
  • To find early voting or ballot drop-off locations in other counties visit

Is there information for voters with disabilities?

County Voter Information Guides describe how persons with disabilities can vote privately and independently. For more information, visit:

When are polls open?

Polls are open on election day Tuesday, November 6, 2018 from 7am to 8pm.  If you are in the line at the polling place prior to 8pm, you have the right to vote.

Can I vote at any location in the county? (Yes, you can, but there are reasons not to.)

  • Ballots are not the same throughout the county. If you go to a precinct other than the one you are assigned, only the votes for the candidates and measures on which you were entitled to vote in your assigned precinct will be counted.
  • Your ballot will be handled as a provisional ballot.  (Provisional ballots are counted.)
  • You cannot cast your ballot in a different county.

Do I need a State ID to Vote?

  • If you have voted before and your name is on the roster of voters, no. (Ed. note: You will be asked your name and address; the poll worker will repeat each back to you.  Then you sign the roster of voters list. That’s it.)
  • I this is your first time voting and you are registered by mail without giving your California driver’s license or state identification number or the last four digits of your social security number, then you may need to show photo identification (e. g. valid driver’s license or state ID) or a paycheck, utility bill, or government document that shows your name and address.
  • To be safe, take a photo ID with you to the polls.
  • If the poll workers check the roster and cannot locate your name they will assist you to try to find your correct polling location. If you believe you are registered to vote and want to vote at the polling location where you are, you are entitled to a provisional ballot.

What about people on probation or parole? You can vote in California

  • A misdemeanor conviction does not affect your right to vote. You can vote in all elections.
  • If you are on probation or if you have completed your parole, post-release community supervision, or mandatory supervision you CAN vote!  (ACLU has more information on this topic here.)

I haven’t mailed my ballot, what do I do?

  • Vote by mail ballots must be received by the county elections office by the time polls close at 8pm on Election Day or your return envelope must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by the Registrar of Voters no later than the Friday after Election Day.
  • If you mail your ballot on Monday, November 7th, there is no guarantee that it will arrive at the Registrar’s Office by 8pm on November 8th.  But do not fear!
  • You can return your completed ballot by mail in person to any polling place in the County of San Diego or the Registrar’s Office at 5201 Ruffin Road, Suite I San Diego on election day.
  • You can drop off ballots at collection sites throughout the county.

Regardless of how the ballot is returned, it MUST be received by the county elections office by the time polls close at 8pm on Tuesday November 8.

Can I take time off work to vote?

State law allows voters to take 2 hours off work to vote, without the loss of pay, at an agreed upon time at the beginning or end of the work shift. Click here for more information on time off work to vote.

I forgot to register. Can I still vote? NEW! YES you can! There are new rules.

Conditional Voter Registration is a new safety net for Californians who missed the October 22 deadline to register to vote or update their voter registration information for the November 6, 2018, General Election. While you may ot be able to vote at your regular polling place or vote by mail, there is still an opportunity to cast a ballot by completing the conditional voter registration process.

Eligible citizens who missed the October 22 deadline can go to their county elections office or a designated satellite location to register and vote conditionally. Their ballots will be processed once the county elections office has completed the voter registration verification process. Voters can complete the conditional voter registration process all the way through Election Day on November 6.

Have additional questions about your local conditional voter registration locations?

Contact your county elections office.

What about selfies?

Ballot Selfies are now legal. Taking pictures of other people’s ballots is not.

How do I know if my ballot was counted?

San Diego County voters can look up whether their mail ballot was counted on the registrar’s voter portal.

Who do I vote for?

Here’s a list of online voter guides and endorsements

The San Diego General Election Progressive Voter Guide, the long version, features websites, social media links plus more than three dozen candidate endorsements, along with yea or nay on 23 state, county, and city propositions. Don’t vote without it.

Here’s the San Diego Free Press Endorsement Crib Sheet

Also, for those of you with burning questions about the judges on your ballots: An Explainer on Electing Judges in California, including suggestions.

From San Diego Free Press

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Frank Gormlie November 6, 2018 at 11:11 am

Lazy Hummingbird Coffee & Tea House in Ocean Beach and La Mesa are giving away free coffee all day on Tuesday and Wednesday to anyone who voted.

Its Facebook page said, “We wanted to extend the offer until Nov. 7, because we know some of you may not be able to get to the polls until later in the day and won’t want a coffee, so come in the next morning and reward yourself!

“Look at that, the rewards of voting are already paying off! Just show your lovely ‘I Voted’ sticker to redeem your free drink. Proud of you!”


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