Registration Deadline: Your registration must be postmarked or submitted electronically no later than 15 days before the election in which you wish to vote.
Party Affiliation: California has a modified closed primary system. Voters who have no official party preference may vote in a primary election if an individual party has consented.
VOTER REGISTRATION QUALIFICATIONS
Age: Must be 18 years of age or older on Election Day
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 number;
- California Identification Card number
- The last four digits of your Social Security Number
- Your date of birth
OBTAINING A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM
Online: Fill in the online application
- Department of Motor Vehicles offices
- Local U.S. Post Office
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 apply for a special absentee ballot by filling out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).
VERIFYING YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS
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.
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.
- Military and overseas voting: California Military and Overseas Procedures
SUBMITTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
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.
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.
You may return it in person to any polling place in your county or to the county elections office on Election Day. If you are unable to return the ballot yourself, you may designate a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or a person residing in the same household to return the ballot to the elections official or the precinct board at any polling place within the jurisdiction. The ballot must be received by the elections official or the precinct board before the close of the polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.
Early voting qualifications: No excuse or special registration necessary. Voting available at county offices. Click here for specific times and locations
Verifying Registration: California Voter Registration Verification
Deciding how to vote: http://www.votesmart.org/
Polling Place: California Polling Place finder
ID Requirements: In most cases, California voters are not required to show identification before they cast ballots. However, if you are voting for the first time after registering by mail and did not provide your driver license number, California identification number or the last four digits of your social security number on your registration form, you may be asked to show a form of identification when you go to the polls. View all acceptable forms of ID here.
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.