FAQs

  1. Voter Registration
  2. Voting
Voter Registration

Who can register to vote?


In order to register to vote, a person must:
  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be a resident of California;
  • Be at least 18 years of age as of the day of the next election;
  • Not be in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony;and
  • Not be deemed by an appropriate court to be mentally incompetent.
For more information on the rights of people who are incarcerated, please see the Secretary of State Voting Guide for Inmates.

How do I register to vote?


To register to vote you must obtain and complete a voter registration form. Voter registration forms can be obtained by:
  • Downloading a voter registration form and mailing it to your county elections official; or
  • Calling your county elections official and requesting a form; or
  • Calling the Secretary of State toll-free voter registration hotline at (800) 345-VOTE and requesting a form.

What is the deadline to register to vote?


The deadline to register to vote is 15 days prior to each local and statewide Election Day. To be eligible to vote in the November 3, 2009 Elections, you must register to vote by October 19, 2009. To be eligible to vote in the June 8, 2010, Statewide Primary Election, you must register to vote by May 24, 2010.


I have just moved. Am I required to re-register?


Your voter registration should always reflect your current residence. However, if you have moved from your home into a temporary residence that you do not intend to use as your permanent residence, you can continue to use your prior permanent residence where you were previously registered to vote as your address for the purpose of voting.

I did not vote in the last election. Do I need to re-register?


In general, you are registered to vote for as long as you remain at the same address. However, if you have not voted in the last several elections, you may be sent a request to confirm that you have not moved.

Do I have to be registered to vote in order to register other voters?


No, you do not need to be a registered voter in order to register other people to vote.

I registered at the Department of Motor Vehicles, but my county elections office says I'm not registered. What can I do?


Contact your county elections official and provide them with any documentation you may have to help establish when and where you registered. In many cases your county elections official may be able to verify the potential registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

I sent in my voter registration form a month ago and I still don't know where to vote. Did you receive my registration card?


To inquire about your voter registration status, you must call your county elections official. Each county designates the polling place for each voter and mails a sample ballot to each voter telling them where to vote on Election Day.

Where do I send my voter registration form after I fill it out?


If you have downloaded a voter registration form from the Secretary of State's web page, it will be pre-addressed to go to your county elections official for quicker processing. Statewide forms are sent to the Secretary of State's office, which in turn must forward them to the appropriate county elections official.

How many voter registration affidavits can I get if I want to register people in my community?


There is no limit to the number of voter registration affidavits a person may obtain. However, depending on the number of cards the Secretary of State or a county elections official has on hand and the volume of requests they are receiving, the Secretary of State and county elections officials may ask a requestor to take fewer cards than they asked for and to return later should they need additional cards. The Secretary of State does require the requester to complete a Voter Registration Card Statement of Distribution form and a county elections official may require a person who requests cards from their office to do something similar.

How can I cancel my California voter registration?


To cancel your voter registration, you must contact your county elections office.