Registration Deadline: Your registration must be postmarked or submitted electronically no later than 15 days before the election in which you wish to vote.
If this deadline has passed:
-You can submit an application and it will be processed for future elections.
-You have the opportunity to “conditionally” register to vote and vote provisionally at your local county elections office. Contact your local county elections official for more information.
Party Affiliation: All candidates for voter-nominated offices are listed on one ballot and only the top two vote-getters in the primary election – regardless of party preference - move on to the general election. A write-in candidate will only move on to the general election if the candidate is one of the top two vote-getters in the primary election.
The Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act does not apply to candidates running for U.S. President, county central committee, or local office.
Qualified political parties in California may hold presidential primaries in one of two ways:
-Closed presidential primary- the party only allows voters indicating a preference for that party to vote for its presidential nominee.
-Modified-closed presidential primary- in addition to allowing voters indicating a preference for that party to vote for its presidential nominee, the party also allows voters who did not indicate a party preference to vote for its presidential nominee.
VOTER REGISTRATION QUALIFICATIONS
Age: Must be 18 years of age or older on Election Day
16 or 17 year olds that meet all other voting requirements may pre-register to vote and be automatically registered to vote once they turn 18
Citizenship: Must be a United States citizen
Residency: Must be a resident of California
Mental Competency: Not currently found by a court to be mentally incompetent.
Felony Convictions: Not currently imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony (for more information on the rights of people who have been incarcerated, please see the Secretary of State's Voting Rights for Californians with Criminal Convictions or Detained in Jail or Prison
ID Requirements for Registering:
- California Driver's license or Identification Card number
- The last four digits of your Social Security Number
- Your date of birth
If you do not have a California driver license or California identification card, you can still use this form to apply to register to vote by completing the online interview by 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time on the 15th calendar day before an election.
OBTAINING A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM
Online: Fill out the online application
- County elections office
- Department of Motor Vehicles offices
- Local U.S. Post Office
VOTER REGISTRATION FOR MILITARY AND OVERSEAS VOTERS
Military and overseas voters are United States citizens who are members of the Uniformed Services (on active duty) and their eligible dependents, members of the Merchant Marine and their eligible dependents, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States citizens residing outside the United States. To apply to register to vote, receive your elections materials, and vote, you must complete the online voter registration application or apply for a special absentee ballot by filling out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).
When you complete your online voter registration application or your FPCA, you can choose to receive your ballot and the accompanying Military or Overseas Voter Return Envelope mailed, faxed, or emailed to you. You may even be able to download them from your county elections website.
SUBMITTING A MILITARY AND OVERSEAS VOTER BALLOT
Return your voted ballot and signed Military or Overseas Voter Return Envelope to your county elections official. Mail or fax (under certain circumstances) your voted ballot and signed return envelope following the Secretary of State's online instructions under "Mailing Addresses and Fax Numbers for Military or Overseas Voters".
If mailing: Your voted ballot and signed return envelope must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 3 days after Election Day.
If faxing: If you are living outside the territorial limits of the United States or are called for military service within the United States on or after the final date to make application for a vote-by-mail ballot, you may return your ballot by fax, but it must be received by your county elections office by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. If you decide to fax your voted ballot and signed Military or Overseas Voter Return Envelope, you must also fax an "Oath of Voter" form to waive your right to a confidential vote.
Other Voter Registration Application Information: Contact your County Elections Office with questions.
VERIFYING YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS
Online: Check the Status of Your Voter Registration
Phone: Contact your local county office to verify your registration
ABSENTEE BALLOT QUALIFICATIONS
Who can vote absentee: Any registered voter may apply for a "vote-by-mail" ballot at any time.
OBTAINING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
- Completing the vote-by-mail ballot application that is included in your sample ballot, which your county elections official will mail to you prior to each election; or
- Downloading and completing a vote by mail application; or
- Contacting your county elections official to see if your county allows you to apply by telephone.
If you apply by mail, your application must be received no later than 7 days before Election Day. Anytime after 7 days, you will need to apply in person at your county election office to request a vote-by-mail ballot for that election.
-Military and overseas voting: California Military and Overseas Procedures or see above
SUBMITTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
Returning your ballot by mail: Vote-by-mail ballots that are mailed must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 3 days after Election Day.
Returning it in person to a polling place or the office of your county elections official: Vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
Dropping your ballot into one of your county’s ballot drop boxes: Vote-by-mail ballots that are personally delivered to a ballot drop-off location must be delivered no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
Authorizing someone to return the ballot on your behalf: anyone may return your ballot for you, as long as they do not get paid on a per ballot basis. In order for your ballot to be counted, you must fill out the authorization section found on the outside of your ballot envelope.
Early voting qualifications: No excuse or special registration necessary. Voting available at county offices. Contact your local election office for specific times and locations.
Verifying Registration: Check with you county elections officials or click here
Deciding how to vote: https://votesmart.org
Polling Place: California Polling Place finder
Problems with voting: California Election Voter Complaint Form English and Spanish
Verifying provisional ballot status: California Provisional Ballot Checkup
Assistance in Other Languages: click here for a voter registration form in a language other than English or Spanish.
Click here for California’s Official Voter Information Guide