Registering to Vote and Upcoming Elections
Register to Vote in California
Go directly to this page to begin the registration process.
Who May Register to Vote
You may register to vote if you meet the following criteria:
- You are a United States citizen
- You are a resident of California
- You are at least 18 years of age (or will be by the date of the next election)
- Not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction (for more information on the rights of people who have been incarcerated, please see the Secretary of State's Voting Guide for Currently or Formerly Incarcerated Californians)
- Not found by a court to be mentally incompetent
Are You Already Registered to Vote?
To find out if you are currently registered to vote, visit the Secretary of State's Check Status of Your Voter Registration web page. If you are not registered to vote, you can follow the simple steps below.
Under what circumstances do you need to Re-Register to Vote
You will need to re-register to vote when:
- You move to a new permanent residence
- You change your name
- You change your political party choice
Click Here to Register to Vote Online Now ***New as of September 2012!!!
If you have a California Drivers License or DMV-issued ID card you can register completely online with no need to print, sign, and mail a form. If you do not have one of these IDs then you can still complete the online form and then print it, sign it, and mail it directly to the county elections office address that is pre-printed on the form. If you have any questions, you may contact the Elections Division at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 345-8683.
Completing a Paper Voter Registration Form
To download a blank paper form rather than going to through the online interview go directly here where you can access the National Mail Voter Registration Form.
You can pick up a paper voter registration form at your county elections office, library, Department of Motor Vehicles offices, or U.S. Post Office. These forms will be specific to California and most likely to your county as well.
It is important that your voter registration form be filled out completely and be postmarked or hand-delivered to your county elections office at least 15 days before the election.
If you are enrolled in California's Confidential Address Program, Safe At Home, please do not attempt to register to vote using the Secretary of State's website. To register to vote, contact the Safe At Home program toll free at (877) 322-5227 or by email at email@example.com.
Military and Overseas Voters
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, Commissioner Corps of the Public Health Service, Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or United States citizens residing outside the United States can register to vote at the Federal Voting Assistance Program website, or at the Overseas Vote Foundation web site. For military and overseas voters who legally reside in California or for whom California was the state of last residence, can register using California's new online registration system. For more information on overseas and military absentee voting in California click here.
Visit the Secretary of State's New Voters web page for information in English and link to information in Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese.
For additional assistance with voter registration, please contact the Secretary of State's office at any of the following toll-free numbers:
(800) 345-VOTE (8683) – English
(800) 232-VOTA (8682) - español / Spanish
(800) 339-2857 - 中文 / Chinese
(888) 345-2692 - हिन्दी / Hindi
(800) 339-2865 - 日本語 / Japanese
(888) 345-4917 - ខ្មែរ / Khmer
(866) 575-1558 - 한국어 / Korean
(800) 339-2957 - Tagalog
(855) 345-3933 - ภาษาไทย / Thai
(800) 339-8163 - Việt ngữ / Vietnamese
(800) 833-8683 – TTY/TDD
In California, the deadline to register to vote for an election is 15 days before each local and statewide election day, so please register now so you do not miss the chance to voter in your next election! It is important that the completed voter registration form has a 15-day deadline postmark on it or is completed online 15 days ahead of the election.
**The last day to register to vote in this Election is May 19, 2014.
**Statewide ballot measures are now on the November General Election ballots only, so the next measures will be on the November 4, 2014 ballot. As of December 2012, three measures have qualified for the November 2014 ballot. Read about them here.
California Voter Registration - Deadlines for Upcoming STATEWIDE Elections
Your registration must be
June 3, 2014
May 19, 2014
November 4, 2014
October 20, 2014
Local elections 2013:
Check your county's election website to find out when the next local election is in your area. Local elections may be held at different times during the year (see below for established dates - other dates can be used as well for special local elections). Registration deadlines are always 15 days before the election in California. Many counties will hold district elections (called 'UDEL elections') on November 5, 2013, and the deadline to register for that will be October 21, 2013.
Established Local Election Dates: (see also http://smartvoter.org/)
March 5, 2013
Examples: Yolo County - City of Davis and Washington Unified School District (both are all vote-by-mail), Alameda County - Piedmont Unified School District (polling places), Los Angeles County - Cities and School Districts hold elections for office and for measures (polling places), Fresno County - City of Clovis (polling places)
May 7, 2013 - [an 'establised mail ballot election date' per Elections Code 1500]
Examples: San Mateo County - La Honda Pescardero Unified School District and Portola Valley Elementary School District (both are all vote-by-mail)
June 4, 2013
August 27, 2013 - [an 'establised mail ballot election date' per Elections Code 1500]
November 5, 2013 - Uniform District Elections
Special Elections for State Legislature
On January 8, 2013 there was a special general election for State Senate District 4; you could vote in this race if you lived in the 2001 version of Senate District 4, and you had until December 24, 2012 to make sure you were registered to vote in this election. The last regular election for SD4 was held in 2010, and that incumbant left the seat to run for congress. During 2012, regular elections were held for the new 2011 odd-numbered Senate Districts; however, on November 6, 2012 a special primary was held for the old 2001 SD4 to fill the vacated seat. On January 8, 2013 the top two vote getters from the special primary were on the special general election ballot. You can enter your address on this page to find out if you live in the 2001 SD4.
On March 12, 2013 there will special primary elections to fill State Senate Districts 32 and 40, both vacated because the incumbent became a congress member. Both races are vote-nominated in that voters choose from all candidates regardless of the candidates' or voters' party affliation. However, in the case of a special primary election, if one candidate gets a majority (50% + 1) of the votes then that candidate is the winner and there will not be a special general election. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, then a special general election will be held on May 14, 2013. In both elections on March 12, 2013, the voters will be those living in the 2001 version of Senate District 32 and 40. Go to this page to enter your address, select 'Senate' in the Choose District field, and then click on the marker of your address to see in which 2001 Senate District you live. For the March 12, 2013 Elections, the deadline to register to vote was February 25, 2013. In there is a special general election for either district on May 14, 2013, the last day to register to vote in that election will be April 29, 2013.