Voter Registration in California
People who don't vote shouldn't complain (or brag,) about the government―that should be the rule, anyway. In California, there's almost no excuse not to vote, since you can register to do so almost anywhere, including your local DMV office.
In order to vote in California, you must:
- Be a United States citizen
- Be a resident of California
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction
- Not have been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent
If you are not yet 18 years old, but will be by the next election, you will be allowed to register. All voters must be registered at least 25 days before the election in which they wish to vote.
Note that California has updated the rules regarding absentee voting. Your local elections office can provide you with more information.
You have your choice of registration methods:
- Stop by your local DMV office to fill out and submit a voter registration form. You may do this when you apply for a driver's license or at any other time.
- Download a voter registration form (also available in Spanish and send it to your county elections official.
- Fill out a digital version of the voter registration form online (also available in Spanish. This does not mean you have registered. The information will be entered on a paper form sent to you for your signature, which you must then return by mail.
The California Secretary of State Election Division offers additional forms, information, and other services regarding elections, voting, registration, and more.
When you relocate and notify the California DMV of your change of address, the DMV will automatically forward your new information to the Secretary of State Elections Division. If you're in the same county, the elections office will simply record the change; you won't need to re-register.
You'll need to register from scratch if you:
- Change your name
- Change your political party
- Move to a new county
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