California Elections Code 13205 says, in part, “Additional instructions to voters shall appear on the ballot…In elections when electors of President and Vice President of the United States are to be chosen, there shall be placed upon the ballot an instruction as follows: ‘To vote for all of the electors of a party, stamp a cross in the square opposite the names of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of that party. A cross stamped in the square opposite the name of a party and its presidential and vice presidential candidate is a vote for all the electors of that party, but no other candidates.'”
Leaders of the American Independent Party have noticed that 53 of the 58 counties did not include this instruction on the November 3, 2020 ballot. The only counties that did include the language are Alpine, Inyo, Kern, Nevada, and Santa Barbara.
My own sample ballot, from San Francisco, merely says, “Federal”. Below that is “President and Vice President.” Below that, “Vote for One Party”. Below that are the names of candidates for president and vice president, with a party label. The words “presidential electors” do not appear. I checked my collection of ballots and it appears the last time a San Francisco County ballot included the words “presidential electors” was the 1972 ballot. Thus, the problem seems to be an old one.
Most states have laws that require general election ballots in presidential years to explain that the voters are really voting for elector candidates.