To register to vote in the State of California, an individual must meet the following qualifications:
- Be a citizen of the United States
- Are a resident of California
- Be at least 18 years old on or before the date of the next election
- Cannot be in prison or on parole for conviction of a felony
- Have not been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent to register and vote
Must register to vote at least 15 days before the election. Can change or select party affiliation up to 15 days before the election.
Can register to vote in person or obtain a mail-in application from:
- County election office
- Agencies that provide services to people with disabilities
- Public libraries
- U.S. Post offices
You can also obtain an online voter registration application online.
To apply for an absentee ballot ("vote by mail" in California), you may use the application printed on your Sample Ballot, which you will receive prior to every election, or apply in writing to your county elections official. You can also obtain an application online. You will need to submit a completed application or letter to your county elections official at least 7 days before the election. The application or letter must contain 1) your name and residence address as stated on your registration card; 2) the address to which the absentee ballot should be sent (if different than your registered address); 3) the name and date of the election in which the you would like to vote absentee; and 4) the date and your signature.
Regardless of how the ballot is returned, it MUST be received by the county elections office by the time polls close (8 p.m.) on Election Day.
For more election and voter information you can contact the California Secretary of State's Office.