California

Upcoming Election Dates & Registration Deadlines

Some elections in this list are local and do not apply for all California voters. Please click the “View all” button below to view all election dates in your state.

Next Election: Municipal
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Riverside, San Bernardino

Registration Deadlines

Monday, August 16, 2021
By Mail (postmarked)
Monday, August 16, 2021
In Person
Tuesday, August 31, 2021

14

Sep
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Special
Governor Recall

02

Nov
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Municipal
Fresno, Humboldt, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Cruz, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sonoma

07

Jun
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Primary
Statewide Direct Primary Election

08

Nov
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
General
General Election

More Resources

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California Voting Information

Absentee Ballot Process

Any registered voter may Vote By Mail. You use one of the following methods to vote by mail: 

  • Completing the absentee ballot application that is included in your sample ballot, which your county elections official will mail to you prior to each election 

  • Downloading and completing an vote-by-mail application on-line. 

  • Contact your county election official to see if your county allows you to apply by telephone. 

Elections officials process applications 29 days to 7 days before an election. You may request an absentee ballot more than 29 days before an election, but not fewer than 7 days in advance. 

If you are voting by mail for the first time, and did not provide your driver license number, CA ID number, or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number on your registration application, you must provide a photo copy of the above ID with your vote-by-mail application. Other forms of ID include a recent utility bill, the county Voter Information Guide you received from your county elections office or any other governmental agency document (like your passport, driver license, student ID, etc.). If your ID cannot be verified your vote-by-mail ballot will not be opened.

You can find a complete list of acceptable ID here.

Track your Vote-By-Mail Ballot

You can track the status of your vote-by-mail ballot by visiting the "My Voter Status" website and the Where's My Ballot website.

Permanent Absentee Voting (PAV) 

Any registered voter may apply for permanent absentee voter status. If you are a permanent absentee voter, you will automatically receive an absentee ballot for each election. To become a permanent absentee voter, you must complete an application, which is available here. If you complete an application to become a permanent absentee voter, you will retain this status as long as you vote in all statewide primary and general elections. You can cancel your Permanent Absentee Voting status by filling out the California Permanent Vote-By-Mail Status Form and submitting it to your Board of Elections.

Voters in Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento and San Mateo will be mailed a ballot for all elections

Late Absentee Ballot Requests 

If you would like to request an absentee ballot after 7 days before the election, you will need to apply in person at your county elections office. Your county elections office may allow you to apply over the phone, just call to see if your office allows for telephone applications

Even if you receive your vote-by-mail ballot, you can still vote at a polling place on Election Day. Bring your unused vote-by-mail ballot to your local polling place anytime between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day and give it to a poll worker, who will exchange it for a polling place ballot you can use instead. If you do not bring your vote-by-mail ballot with you, you will not lose your opportunity to vote at a polling place on Election Day. A poll worker will provide you with a provisional ballot, which will be counted after your county elections official has confirmed you are registered to vote in that county and did not vote more than once in that election.

Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can find information on how to register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Request your Ballot
Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.

For information on state campaign contributions, please visit your local board of elections.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available at Voter's Edge.

 

Drop Boxes

Find your Vote Center and Dropbox Locations here. 

Early Voting

You can vote early either in person at your county elections office, or by using the vote-by-mail system. Any registered voter may vote early instead of going to the polls on Election Day.

All valid vote-by-mail ballots are counted in every election in California, regardless of the outcome or closeness of any race.

Once your application is processed by your county elections official, your ballot will be sent to you. After you have voted, insert your ballot in the envelope provided, making sure you complete all required information on the envelope. You may return your voted vote-by-mail ballot by 1) mailing it to your county elections official; 2) returning it in person to a polling place or the elections office in your county on Election Day; or 3) authorizing anyone to return the ballot on your behalf.

Election Dates

Your next election date can be found here https://www.vote411.org/california

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote, you must be:

  • A United States citizen
  • A resident of California
  • At least 18 years of age (or will be by the date of the next election)
  • Not in prison or on parole for conviction of a felony
  • Not have been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent to register and vote

You may pre-register to vote if you are at least 16 years old. Your registration will become active once you turn 18.

You will need to re-register to vote when:

  • You move
  • You change your name
  • You change your political party affiliation
ID Needed for Voter Registration

To register to vote you will have to provide your states drivers' license number or identification card number or the last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN). If you do not include this information you will be required to provide identification when you vote.

If you register to vote by mail and submit a driver's license number that the state or local elections official can match with an existing state identification record, then you will not be required to provide identification when you vote.

ID Needed for Voting?

A first-time voter who registers and did not provide identification with their application, may need to show identification at the polls. To be safe, bring your driver's license or another photo ID.

Official Results

Official results are never available on Election Day. Election officials are working around the clock to count an unprecedented number of ballots, and it’s essential that they take the time to make sure every vote is counted.

Absentee ballots begin being counted on Election Day. Provisional ballots are counted no later than the Thursday after the election.

Late-arriving mail ballots and provisional ballots will be counted over the following days and weeks. Official election results will be uploaded on California’s Secretary of State website as they become available. 

 

Official Results
Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependent of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Poll Worker Information

Visit www.workelections.com to find localized information for becoming a poll worker in your area.

In order to be a poll worker in California, you must:

  • Be registered to vote in California
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a resident of the precinct
  • Complete required training
  • Students who are 16 years or older may work if they are in good standing with a GPA of a 2.5 and above

You will be entitled to compensation To sign up, contact your local elections official.

 

Polling Place Hours

The polls will be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Polling Place Locator

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state's resource.

If you have further questions on your polling place location, please contact your local elections official.

Provisional Voting

You may be asked to vote a provisional ballot if you meet specific criteria, including:

  • You believe you are registered to vote even though your name is not on the official voter registration list at the polling place
  • You signed up to vote by mail but want to vote at your polling place or vote center and you didn't receive or you didn't bring your vote by mail ballot with you and the election official is unable to verify that you have not returned your vote-by-mail ballot.

If you are asked to vote a provisional ballot it will be counted after elections officials confirm you are registered to vote and haven't already voted in that election.

Provisional ballots are counted no later than the Thursday after the election until completed.For more information around provisional voting, and information on how to track your provisional ballot, please visit your Secretary of State's website.

 

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

There are many ways voters with disabilities can cast their ballot.

Vote-by-mail

All voters can cast their ballot from home. For more information on voting by mail, click here.

Remote Accessible Vote-by-Mail

This allows voters to mark their selections on their ballot by using their own compatible technology to vote independently from their own home. For more information on how to use this option, click here.

Curbside Voting

This allows you to park as close as possible to the voting area. Election officials will bring you any voting materials you need to cast your ballot, either on the curb or in your car. Be sure to check if curbside voting is available at your polling or vote center by contacting you county elections office.

Accessible Voting Machines

Contact your county elections office for details around accessible voting machines in your area.

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Registration Deadline

You can register to vote online! Registrations must be completed 15 days before Election Day. In most elections, if you need to register after 15 days before Election Day you may do so at your county elections office, a vote center, or a satellite office provided by your county elections official.

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application!

For more information, please visit your Secretary of State's website.

 

 

 

Time Off To Vote

Private and public employers must give employees time off to vote, unless the employee has two hours of nonworking time available to vote or employee fails to vote. Employers may require employees to give advance notice that they will need additional time off for voting. Employers may require the time off be taking at the beginning or the end of the employees shift.

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration status

click here!
Voting Machines

The voting machine systems used in California are optical scan and DRE.

Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are finished filling out all the cards, you may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.

Direct Recording Electronic (DRE): Usually, after you have signed in, the poll workers will give you a card that you slide into a device to start your voting session.

Some of these devices will show all of the candidates and ballot choices on one big screen. Often, with these big screen devices you push a button next to the name of the candidate you want to vote for (or yes or no on a ballot measure). On other DREs, the screen is set up to show pages. On each screen or page, there will probably be one thing to vote on. For example, on one screen or page, you might vote for president. Then you might move to the next page to vote for senator. Often these small-screen devices have a touch screen, where you touch the screen next to the name of the person you want to vote for. Other devices have a key pad. And some have a keyboard, so you can write in the name of someone you want to vote for.

You let the system know you are finished voting by pushing a button, touching the screen or entering something on a keypad.

Personalized voting information

  • See What's On Your Ballot
  • Check Your Voter Registration
  • Find Your Polling Place
  • Discover Upcoming Debates and Forum in Your Area

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California Department of State

Secretary of State

1500 11th Street, 5th floor

Sacramento 95814


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