How to vote in the California election if your ballot is delayed

September 10, 2021

Voting online in California's election. Illustration by Connor Martin

Desperately awaiting everything you’ve ordered while at Georgetown? You’re not alone.

Georgetown University Mail Services is experiencing “unprecedented package volume,” as described by Marc Fournier, vice president for auxiliary business services who oversees GU Mail Services. According to an email to the university community, mail services are currently sorting through 3,000 packages per day. Amidst that package influx, letter mail is being lost in the shuffle. Students report that it can take up to three weeks—if not longer—to receive their mail.

This presents a unique challenge to students from California, many of whom are eligible to vote in the recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom. These students need access to their vote-by-mail ballot before the upcoming Sept. 14 postmark deadline, the last day to send in mail ballots.

Luckily, there are other options to make sure your vote is counted.

This election, California instituted a Remote Accessible Vote-By-Mail (RAVBM) system to allow anyone—upon request—to make their voting selections online, print them, sign the appropriate fields on the ballot along with the outside of the envelope, and then have it postmarked to their County Elections Office. While ballots still need to be postmarked by this coming Tuesday, Sept. 14, students can print them on their own time, without waiting for anything in the mail. You can request a RAVBM ballot by contacting your County Elections Office. If you send in a RAVBM ballot, do not also send in your normal vote-by-mail ballot, even if you get it in time; this will invalidate your vote. 

Make sure your vote is counted! Don’t let overwhelmed mail services prevent you from exercising your rights.

Connor Martin
Connor (he/him) is a junior in the college and the managing editor. He is also a member of the editorial board, a collector of snowglobes, and he can't wait to make you pasta after studying for three months in Florence, Italy. Ping Connor at

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