Voting in California

Change My State

Presidential Primary Election

03/05/2024
Election Date
02/20/2024
Voter Registration Deadline (by mail - postmarked, online)
03/05/2024
Voter Registration Deadline (in-person)

Vote By Mail Deadlines

02/27/2024
Deadline to Request Ballot (Received by)
03/05/2024
Deadline to Return Ballot (Postmarked By)

Early Voting Dates

02/05/2024
Early Voting Begins
03/04/2024
Early Voting Ends

The upcoming election is a presidential primary. Learn About Presidential Primaries

Polling place hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Register to Vote

How to Vote in California

Learn about all the options to vote in California to make a plan to vote that works for you!

California is a vote by mail state. This means that all registered voters will receive a mail-in ballot to the address on their voter registration. If you have moved you must update your registration.

Frequently Asked Questions

California Board of Elections Phone Number: (800) 345-8683

California Board of Elections Website

Having trouble at the polls?

Call or text: 1-866-OUR-VOTE

Register to Vote in California

Whether you are registering to vote for the first time, or need to update your address, name or party affiliation - we've got you covered!

Am I Registered?

Not sure if you are eligible to vote due to a felony conviction?
Click here to learn more.

California Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely! You can check your voter registration online on Califonia’s elections office website here, or you can contact the Board of Elections at (916) 657-2166.

It can take several weeks. Most states send out voter registration cards within 5 to 7 weeks after receiving the registration. If you do not receive a registration card in the mail, contact your state election office to confirm you are registered. Find your state’s contact information in our How to Vote in Your State section on this page! In any event, you should verify your registration a week prior to the voter registration deadline in your state in case you need to fill out a new registration form or correct your form.

Elections take place all the time throughout the year, and odds are, you probably have an election coming up in your state! In addition to the presidential election and midterm elections, you have statewide, countywide and municipal elections that you can make your voice heard in. Make sure you know when your upcoming elections are so that you don’t miss a single one! Check out when your next election is here.

Your state provides an online ballot tracking system. You can track your ballot here!

YES you are able to register to vote at your student address. You should provide your official campus mailing address as well as the actual physical address of your on or off campus residence when registering to vote. If this is your first time voting, you must have some sort of proof of address and residency that can be presented at your polling place (mail, a student ID, etc.). For more information, we suggest visiting your state’s elections office website. Remember: you can only register to vote and vote in one place, whether that is your student address or your home address!

YES, unhoused voters can register to vote and use their voice in California’s elections. Unhoused voters or voters without a permanent address may list a shelter address, street corner, or park as their address. For more information on voting while unhoused, visit our friends at the National Coalition for the Homeless.

YES. In this case you must register at the last address you had before you left the USA, or at the address to which you will return to when returning to the USA (you must present some indication of a present intent to return and live there – e.g. vehicle registration, driver’s license, property ownership, family, etc). If you have never had a permanent address in the United States but are a citizen you are allowed to register at an address you plan on moving to or an address where you currently have family living. Access more information on voting overseas here.

You may call the voting rights hotline at 866 687-8683, if informing another poll worker isn’t successful. They have lawyers ready to help you. Additionally, you can call the civil rights division of the U.S Department of Justice.

You can also find California elections office here and contact them by phone at (916) 657-2166.

Vote By Mail

Request and track

Notice: Mail-in voting is a convenient and safe way to vote, but your ballot might not count if it’s submitted late or with errors. So follow the directions below on how to vote early or absentee and make your vote count in California.

Vote By Mail Deadlines

02/27/2024
Deadline to Request Ballot (Received by)
03/05/2024
Deadline to Return Ballot (Postmarked By)

How Vote By Mail Works in California

Voting by mail is a one step process in California. Ballots are automatically mailed to all registered voters.

After you complete your ballot, be sure to return it ASAP!

  • Return in person by Election Day at 8 p.m. You can return to any county drop boxes, polling sites, vote centers, and your county election office.
  • Or return your ballot by mail - ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received by 7 days after Election Day to be counted. To make your postmark date, put the ballot into your home mailbox for collection at least one day prior to ensure it is picked up and processed. You can also drop the ballot off at the post office before the last posted collection time on Election Day. We recommend returning ASAP.

Need your ballot sent to a different address? Apply for your ballot here no later than 7 days before Election Day and follow the steps listed above. If you need a ballot mailed to a different address after this date, contact your county elections office.

Where to Sign Your Ballot

Remember to sign your return ballot.

After completing your ballot, put it into the return envelope provided by the state. Sign the self-affirmation on the return envelope.

Be sure that your signature matches your signature on file with the state! If you registered online or at the DMV, check the signature on your license. If the signature does not match, your ballot could be tossed and will not count.

How You Can Return Your Mail-in Ballot

If you return your ballot by mail, your postage is prepaid. You can also return your ballot via commercial delivery services, such as FedEx or UPS (at your expense).

You can also drop off your ballot in person at your local elections office, drop box, early voting locations, or polling place.

Can Someone Else Return Your Ballot For You?

Any designated person can drop off a ballot for you. You must fill out the authorization section found on the outside of the ballot envelope.

Track Your Ballot

Track your ballot by clicking here.

Haven't used your ballot?

If you decide to vote in person rather than use your mail-in ballot, go to your polling place or early voting location and vote. To vote at a vote center, you do not need to bring your unused ballot. To vote at a polling place, you do need to bring your unused ballot to be "surrendered." If you do not bring your ballot, you will vote via provisional ballot.

Opportunities to Fix Challenges to Your Ballot

California does offer voters a chance to address challenges to their ballot.

Your state has a cure period, which means you can “cure” a challenge to the signature on your ballot if it was done incorrectly. You will be contacted if there is a challenge to your signature through Election Day.

If there is a challenge to your ballot signature, you will have until 2 days before the election’s certification (date TBD) to “cure” the challenge. If you did not sign your ballot, you will have until the 8th day after Election Day to “cure” the mistake.

You may get a call from a number you don’t recognize with the notification that you need to cure your ballot. Be sure to pick up so that you don’t miss your chance to make sure your vote is counted!

Voter ID

Do Voters Need ID?

California voters are not required to show ID at the polls or by-mail, except for some first time voters who did not include required ID info on their voter registration form. A current driver’s license number or last four of social security number should have been provided on the original voter registration form. If this information was not provided, a first time voter will have to show ID at the polls. Valid forms of identification include;

Photo IDs that have photograph and name:

  • Driver’s license or state issued ID card
  • Passport
  • Employee ID card
  • Credit or Debit card
  • Military ID
  • Student ID
  • Health Club ID
  • Insurance Plan ID card
  • Public Housing ID Card

“Non-photo” IDs that have name and address:

  • Utility Bill
  • Bank Statement
  • Government check
  • Government Paycheck
  • Document Issued by a governmental agency

Voter ID in California

Find Your Ballot

Enter your address below to see what you can expect on Election Day.

Primaries

Presidential Primaries

Primary Type (D): Mixed
Primary Type (R): Closed

California’s Republican Party requires that voters register as Republican to participate in their presidential primary. California’s Democratic Party holds a presidential primary that is open to both registered democrats and voters that are unaffiliated with a political party. Voters may register to vote and change their party affiliation through Election Day. 

In addition to the presidential primary, the state primary elections will also be on the March 5th ballot. The state primary in California is a top-two primary system in which the top two candidates who get the most votes move onto the general election, regardless of party affiliation. Every voter can participate and vote for every candidate, regardless of party. The top-two vote getters move on to the general election. The California primary election includes the following races;
– U.S. senator
– U.S. representative
– State legislators
– School boards
– Municipal elected officials
– Ballot measures

Automatic Registration

Your state automatically registers people to vote at the address on their drivers license or other state issued ID card. If you have moved but have not updated your ID with your new address, changed your name or want to add a political party selection, you must update your voter registration. Click here to check to see if you are registered to vote, and update your registration if needed.

Election Day Registration

You can register to vote and cast your ballot on Election Day at your polling place or local elections office. Bring a valid ID and proof of residence with you.

Early Voting

Early Voting Dates

02/05/2024
Voting Begins
03/04/2024
Voting Ends

You can vote early in California

You can return your mail-in ballot to your early voting site.

Exact early voting dates and hours vary and are determined by your county elections office.

Preregister

Some states have laws that specifically allow citizens to preregister at a certain age while others allow registration as long as you’re 18 by the next election. Preregistration means you’ll be automatically registered to vote on your 18th birthday without taking any additional steps.

In California, you can preregister to vote if you are 16. Register to vote today!

Some states even let you vote in their primaries at 17 if you’ll be 18 by the general election so you can participate in the whole process!

You can not vote in the California primaries if you are 17 by the next election.