Merced County voters should watch their mailboxes for their California’s March 5 presidential primary election ballots.

The Merced County Registrar of Voters mailed ballots on Feb 5.

The March 5 election will be an important one for Merced County voters, who will weigh candidates for U.S. Congress, the California Legislature, Merced Superior Court judges, Merced County supervisors and a number of local ballot initiatives.

In Los Banos voters will decide on Measure H, whether the mayor’s term should be four years instead of the current two years. They will also vote on Measure G, whether the city clerk and the city treasurer positions should be appointed instead of elected, as they are now.

Races for federal and state offices, such as Congress and the California Legislature, will appear both on the March primary ballot and the November general election, but won’t be settled until the November election.

Local city council races will occur during the general election in November.

Primary election ballots can be returned to the registrar’s office via mail, by dropping their sealed and signed ballot to an official drop box or turning in their ballot on Election Day. 

Three voting assistance centers will open Feb. 24, or 10 days before the election, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. All 14 voting centers will be open March 2 before the election, and any Merced County voter can go to any voting center.

A list of voting assistance centers with dates and times open will be listed in the Merced County voter guide and on the elections website,

On Election Day, March 5, voting centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

All vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by March 5 and received by 5 p.m. March 12. Vote by mail ballots can be dropped off at voting centers as well up until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

The last day to register to vote is Feb. 20. Anyone who wishes to register to vote and cast a ballot after can do so up to Election Day, but they will use a conditional ballot.

For more information, visit

Brianna Vaccari is the accountability and government watchdog reporter for the Central Valley Journalism Collaborative

Brianna Vaccari

Central Valley Journalism Collaborative