By Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill
[Editor’s Note: Updated Oct. 24 with corrected info on the vote centers.]
When I speak to residents in our neighborhoods, a consistent question is whether folks can vote in person this year. You sure can. In fact, let’s run through each of the three ways you can vote this year.
You probably know by now that every eligible voter is receiving a ballot in the mail this year from our Orange County Registrar of Voters. The latest count from the Registrar’s website shows that his office mailed 1,774,696 ballots, which is around the total number of people who live in Wyoming, Vermont, and Alaska combined.
The OC Registrar has also created a new online feature called “OC Ballot Express” that will tell you exactly when your ballot was delivered to your home, en route to the Registrar’s office, and then received by the Registrar. You can even sign up for updates on the processing of your ballot by email or text if you go to: https://ocvote.com/vlt/.
Once you have received your ballot, I encourage you to spend time thinking through your choices and educate yourself on the candidates and propositions on the ballot. You then have three options for returning your ballot.
First, you can simply drop your ballot off at a USPS Post Office or USPS Mailbox and track your ballot online from there.
Second, you can drop off at a secure ballot drop box 24/7 until November 3 at 8 p.m. They are large and yellow and can’t be missed. We have four ballot drop box locations in Newport Beach:
1) Newport Beach Civic Center/Central Library;
2) Bob Henry Park;
3) Avon Street & Riverside Avenue; and
4) the City Parking Lot across Marguerite from the OASIS Senior Center.
Third, you can drop off in-person at any vote center, at a mobile location, or at the Honda Center super site.
We will have six vote center locations in Newport Beach. Starting on October 31, you can drop off your ballot in person at the Newport Beach Civic Center, the Marina Park Community Center, the Newport Coast Community Center, the Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club, the Newport Harbor Lutheran Church, and the OASIS Senior Center. Between October 31 and November 2, the hours of drop off will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. And on election day, November 3, the six locations are open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
No matter how you vote or who you vote for, I simply encourage you to engage in this single great act of democracy by voting.