Voting in California
Voter Registration In California
Who Can Register In California
To register to vote in California, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be a resident of California
- Be at least 18 years old, or turning 18 by the election
- Not have been declared “non-compos mentis” or “mentally incompetent” by a court of law
- Not currently in state or federal prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony
You must register to vote at least 15 days before the election you wish to vote in, or you can register during the early voting period or on Election Day (see more under “Election Day Registration”).
California Election Day Registration
If you’re eligible to vote in California but have not yet registered, you can register and vote at your polling place during the early voting period or on Election Day.
You can pre-register to vote in California when you turn 16.
Voting Rights Restoration
California does remove voting rights for people with felony convictions. The right to vote is automatically restored once residents have finished serving their state or federal prison term for the conviction of a felony.
If you have a past conviction, learn more about your eligibility to vote here.
Voting In California
Where To Vote In California
Vote-by-mail & Absentee
All voters are eligible to vote absentee/by mail in California; no excuse is needed.
Early Voting In California
Some counties in California offer early/in-person absentee. Contact your county elections office to see if they offer early voting.
Primary Elections In California
In California, presidential primaries are closed. For all other primaries, California uses a top-two primary system that allows voters to choose among all candidates running for each office. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the Primary Election qualify for the General Election. 17-year-olds cannot vote in the primary election even if they will be 18 by the corresponding general election.
Voter ID In California
Voter ID Requirements
ID is not required to vote in California, with the exception of federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requirements for first-time voters.
Additional California Resources
Your State Election Official
California Secretary of State
Dr. Shirley N. Weber