Information on Voting!

April 24, 2018

How do I know if I’m eligible to vote in California?

You are eligible to vote if you are:

  • a U.S. citizen living in California
  • at least 18 years of age
  • registered where you currently live
  • not in prison or on parole for a felony

How do I register to vote?

To vote in this year’s presidential election, you must be registered. You can register to vote online at http://registertovote.ca.gov/ or call the Secretary of State’s free Voter Hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683) to get a form mailed to you.

You can also find voter forms at most post offices, DMVs, libraries, city and county government offices, county election offices, and the California Secretary of State’s office.

You must register to vote by October 22nd (Midterm Elections) (15 days before Election)

How do I know if I’m already registered to vote?

You can find out if you’re registered to vote by going to www.sos.ca.gov/elections/registration-status/ and selecting the method that your county provides.

If you are already registered to vote, you don’t need to register again unless you change your name, home address, mailing address, or if you want to select or change a political party.

What are the age limits on voting registration?

You must be 18 years or older to vote. You may register to vote if you are 17 years old as long as you will be 18 by the Election Day.

What if I don’t register to vote in time?

If you don’t register before the registration deadline, you will not be able to vote in this year’s election.

How and where do I vote?

There are multiple ways to vote. You can vote by mail, vote early in person, or vote at the polls on Election Day.

You can vote by mail by requesting a vote-by-mail ballot by October 30th  (Midterm Elections) Return the ballot by mail on or before November 6th (Midterm Elections) and make sure it is received by your county elections office no later than November 9th (Midterm Elections).

*must be mailed in 5 days BEFORE election days*

*Have ballot completed and turned into a voting station by election no later than 8 P.M.*

Some counties offer early voting before Election Day. Contact your county elections office to see if they offer early voting. You can find your county’s contact information at http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/county-elections-offices/.

Voting polls are open on Election Day, November 6th (Midterm Elections), from 7:00am to 8:00pm. You can find your polling place:

If you are in line before polls close, you are still allowed to vote.

What if I’m busy or out of state on Election Day?

If you can’t make it to the polls, you can request an absentee ballot at www.vote.org/absentee-ballot/#.Vr4YFTYlfow. The absentee ballot must be submitted by mail on or before November 6th (Midterm Elections) 

I’m living abroad. How do I vote?

U.S. citizens that are temporarily living abroad can register to vote by mail using the Federal Post Card Application. This can be found at www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fpca2013.pdf.

What if my name isn’t on the voter list at my polling place?

If your name is not on the voter list, you can cast a provisional ballot. This is a regular ballot that is placed in a special envelope prior to being put in the ballot box. Your provisional ballot will be counted after elections officials have confirmed that you are registered to vote in that county and that you didn’t already vote.

You can check the status of your provisional ballot at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-status.

Do I need to bring anything with me to the polling place?

You may be asked to show ID at the polling place if you are a first time voter. If this is not your first time voting in California, you do not need to show ID. Acceptable forms of ID include a current and valid photo ID that includes your name and photograph, such as a driver’s license or ID card of any state, a passport, or an employee ID card.

Do I have to join a political party?

When you register to vote, you will be asked if you want to “disclose a political party reference”. You may choose a party, or you can choose to be unaffiliated with any party. If you wish to register independent of a party, you must confirm that you don’t want to disclose a political party reference.

Qualified political parties in California can be found at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/political-parties/qualified-political-parties/.

What measures will be on the voting ballot?

You can receive information about what qualified measures will be on the voting ballot at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/qualified-ballot-measures/.

What happens after I cast my vote?

Once the last voter has voted, the ballots will be sent to a vote counting facility. The votes will be counted and observed to make sure that counting will be fair.

Find information about your county elections office: