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California Prepares To Head To The Polls -- Except 3 Counties

Ric Francis / AP

Staffers at Los Angeles County Recorder/County Clerk's headquarters sort ballots in this file photo from 2008, for the California presidential primary.

Ric Francis / AP

Voters across California are preparing to go to the polls Tuesday. Precincts open at 7 a.m., but not everywhere. Three counties will not have any polling places.

The state allows sparsely-populated, rural counties to run vote-by-mail only elections.

Sierra, Alpine and—this year—Plumas County have all closed their polling places in favor of vote-by-mail only elections.

Voters can still drop-off those ballots with elections officials, but Plumas County resident Tracy Ingle says the drive can be prohibitive.

"I’m like 35 minutes on a canyon road to get to our elections office in the correct county courthouse," Ingle says. "But for people that are in some of the outlying areas it can be up to an hour drive."

That could be a problem for “No Party Preference” voters who want to cast ballots in the open Democratic primary. Those mail-in voters had to specifically request Democratic ballots a week ago.

California lawmakers and elections officials are discussing a switch to make future elections across the state mail-only. A Senate bill could pass this summer.

Voters in any county can mail their ballots through election day. They must be postmarked by 8 p.m. and arrive within three days.

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