Amid a global pandemic, the 2020 election has begun. Many states, including California, have mailed registered voters mail-in ballots to minimize the threat of COVID-19 transmission on Election Day. Most voters have already cast their votes and returned their ballots via mail or official drop boxes.
There are many voters, however, who have not been able to vote by mail or return their ballots due to difficult working schedules, increased familial responsibilities or needs for assistance.
No matter who you are, your voice is meant to be heard — if you have the right to vote, make sure you vote by Election Day!
Alameda County has provided nine accessible voting locations, or AVLs, for in-person voting for Berkeley voters who need assistance or new ballots to replace damaged or lost vote-by-mail ballots. Voters who have already received their mail-in ballots and wish to vote in person have to bring their ballots with them.
Berkeley accessible voting locations
All AVLs will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31; Sunday, Nov. 1; and Monday, Nov. 2. On Election Day, the AVLs will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The locations are as follows:
Berkeley High School gym (1980 Allston Way)
Ed Roberts Campus (3075 Adeline St.)
*Lawrence Hall of Science (1 Centennial Dr.)
Longfellow Middle School gym (1500 Derby St.)
City of Berkeley facility (formerly Premier Cru) (1011 University Ave.)
Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union’s third floor ballroom (2455 Bancroft Way)
Northbrae Community Church (941 The Alameda)
Epworth United Methodist Church (1953 Hopkins St.)
Willard Middle School (2425 Stuart St.)
*The Lawrence Hall of Science AVL provides a copy of the Official Ballot in Korean.
Vote-by-mail drop boxes
Berkeley voters can also go to any official 24-hour vote-by-mail drop box to drop off their vote-by-mail ballots. All Berkeley drop boxes will be open 24 hours until 8 p.m. on Election Day. The locations are as follows:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Building (2180 Milvia St.)
University of California, Berkeley (between Sather Gate and Barrows Hall)
Frances Albrier Recreation Center (2800 Park St.)
Claremont Branch library (2940 Benvenue Ave.)
North Branch library (1170 The Alameda)
West Branch library (1125 University Ave.)
Information for voters with disabilities
All AVLs will provide a magnifying sheet to enlarge the print on ballots and accessible touch-screen and audio voting machines to assist voters with visual, auditory or motor skill limitations. Voters unable to enter the polling location will be allowed to vote in their vehicles or near the voting location and use their assistive devices to read and mark their ballots.
What to look out for when voting in person
All AVLs have been designed to be spacious and precautionary of social distancing measures, and they will have separate lines for voters dropping off completed ballots.
Voters must make sure they are wearing a face covering, keeping two arm’s-length distance from other voters and using hand sanitizer after touching doors and voting equipment. Voters may bring their own blue or black ballpoint pens to avoid touching pens used by other voters.