The State of California sends out a mail-in ballot to every registered voter. It’s a relatively new change that arose following the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the most part, voting by mail has been popular with Californians who either can’t get the time off to visit an official polling location or have trouble finding transportation to and from a polling place. Others just find the process easier and appreciate the ability for more time to give more thought into what they are voting on.

While some states have made vote-by-mail more difficult, California has made it the standard practice.

Despite baseless claims by conspiracy theorists that voting by mail leads to fraud, election officials say the method is safe and secure. Tools even exist to ensure that the ballot you dropped in the mail or an official ballot collection box was properly collected and counted.

How to check if your ballot was counted in a California election

The state offers a service to track your ballot called, aptly, Where’s My Ballot?

Through the program, you can sign up for text alerts, email or voice notifications that will tell you where your ballot is, whether or not it’s been counted yet, and “every step” along the way.

Where’s My Ballot? is available to every voter in every county in California.

All you need to get started is your first and last name, your date of birth and your zip code.

Tracking will become available about a week after you place your ballot in the mail. If you used a drop-off location, those times can vary based off your county’s pick-up schedule.

If you’ve got issues with your zip code, say you’ve moved or are temporarily out of state, you should check with the California Secretary of State’s Office to confirm where you are registered to vote.

BallotTrax, which operates the Where’s My Ballot? service, tracks the ballot’s envelope only. The answers inside the envelope remain anonymous.

For more information on the Where’s My Ballot? system, visit the state’s Frequently Asked Questions page.