Elections

When does California vote for president?

In 2020, Californians will get their say in who should face off in the presidential election, and they’ll have that say much earlier this time around.

California’s primary election day is March 3, 2020; about three months earlier than in recent presidential primaries. That’s because of a bill sponsored by then-Sen. Ricardo Lara, now insurance commissioner, and Secretary of State Alex Padilla, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law last September. All are Democrats.

“With an earlier primary, California will have a more significant voice in the presidential nomination process for all political parties,” Padilla said in a statement about the upcoming election. “California is the most populous and most diverse state in the nation and represents the largest economy of any state in the nation.”

Lara said that Californians “have a responsibility to drive a different agenda at the national level and promote inclusion and consensus, not the politics of division.”

For those looking to get an early start on voting, the state will begin accepting mail-in ballots on Feb. 3, 2020. The last day to register to vote is Feb. 17, and the last day to request a ballot is Feb. 25.

While Election Day is March 3, 2020, the state will accept ballots postmarked on that day until March 6.

The general election is set for Nov. 3, 2020.

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