IMPORTANT NOTICE: On June 18, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 860, which requires California Counties to mail ballots to all registered voters for the November 3, 2020, General Election and permits all voters to use a Remote Accessible Vote-by-Mail (RAVBM) System to access their ballots.
If you plan to access your ballot via the RAVBM System, we invite you to explore this page and contact the County of Santa Barbara Elections Division with any questions at (800) 722-8683 (toll free).
Introduction to the Remote Accessible Vote By Mail System
The Remote Accessible Vote-by-Mail (RAVBM) System will offers Military and Overseas voters and voters with disabilities a secure method to receive their ballot electronically. The voter can then mark, download and print their ballot and return their ballot to the elections official. For privacy and security reasons, the RAVBM system does not store or transmit votes over the internet.
How does RAVBM work?
- A voter would request a RAVBM ballot from their County elections office by
email, or by completing the application below.
- Once the request is received, an email with a link to the RAVBM System will be sent to the voter along with a code to access their ballot.
- The voter would click on link and enter their access code or voter information in a secured portal. At this time, the voter would affirm they are a voter with a disability (type of disability is not asked), or a military or overseas voter. This allows us to provide specific instructions on the return of the ballot to the voter.
- The RAVBM system will then retrieve the voters specific ballot type and any additional information and instructions on how to mark their ballot.
- The RAVBM Ballot will show a single contest on the screen and the voter will then mark their choice by either clicking on the choice or by using their own assistive technology ((jelly switches, screen readers, mouse keys, sip and puff, etc.).
- The voter will move through the ballot by clicking on the "Next Contest" or "Previous Contest" buttons at the bottom of the screen or can go to a specific contest by selecting a button that has the name of that contest.
NOTE: The RAVBM System does not allow a voter to overvote (select more than the number of choices allowed for a contest) and alerts the voter if they undervote (select less than the number of choices allowed for that contest, or leave a contest blank). The voter can then decide if they want to select additional options or not.
- Once the voter has completed marking their choices for all contests, they can click "Review Ballot" to review their selections and have the ability to make any changes before downloading their ballot.
- Once complete, the voter will be given the option to download an entire package containing all the materials they will need to return their ballot (the voted ballot, any ballot declarations to be returned with the ballots, and instructions on how to return the ballot) or they can download only those items they choose.
How does the voter return their RAVBM Ballot?
- After the ballot has been voted and downloaded, the voter will then need to print the downloaded ballot and if needed, any return declarations to be returned with the ballot.
- The voter will then review the instructions for the return of their ballot and determine the best method to use.
- The voter will then place the ballot in an envelope (either provided by the voter or the return ballot envelope sent to you by the elections official).
- The voter signs the printed declaration(s) or the declaration on the return ballot envelope they were mailed.
- The voter can return the ballot by mail (mail early or make sure your ballot is postmarked on or before Election Day), ballot drop box or at any polling place/vote center in California by 8:00 pm on Election Day. RAVBM Ballots have the same requirements as regular vote by mail ballots for their return.
For RAVBM questions or technical support, please call the Elections Division between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may also email questions at any time (please allow at least 24 hours for a response):
- (800) 722-8683 (toll free)
- (805) 568-2200