Vote-by-mail ballots began going out Tuesday to Riverside County residents ahead of the Nov. 6 general election, and officials reminded recipients to have their ballots completed and turned in no later than election day.

According to the Office of the Registrar of Voters, about 685,000 absentee ballots will be distributed over the next several weeks, and any registered voter who has yet to apply for a vote-by-mail packet will have until Oct. 30 to submit a request.

Applications can be submitted online at www.voteinfo.net, or filled out at the Office of the Registrar of Voters’ headquarters, 2724 Gateway Drive in Riverside.

“Completed ballots must be received at the registrar of voters office, or any polling place within California, no later than the close of polls on election day, or be postmarked on or before election day and received no later than three days after election day to be counted,” according to a county statement.

Early voting has begun, and voters have the opportunity to step into a voting booth at the registrar’s office on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Officials said other polling sites will become available for early voting later this month at the Galleria at Tyler Mall in Riverside, as well as the Westfield Palm Desert Mall in the Coachella Valley and the Promenade Mall in Temecula.

Registrar of voters staff can begin tabulating ballots the week before election day, but state law prohibits posting results prior to the close of voting on the day itself.

In Riverside County, closely watched local contests include the sheriff’s race and two supervisorial races. One state senate seat is on the line, along with seven Assembly seats and four congressional seats.

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