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  California  

Voting Guide

Voter Registration Deadline: 15 days before Election Day


Conditional voter registration is also available to eligible citizens who miss the registration deadline. For more information, visit: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/same-day-reg/.


2020

  • General Election Registration Deadline: October 19

  • General Election: November 3

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.

 

Students attending college may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered or register at their permanent or home address.

 

You may only be registered and vote in one location.

You do not need to provide an ID to vote in California. For first time voters who did not provide a driver’s license number, state-issued ID number, or the last four digits of their Social Security Number on their registration application, the Secretary of State’s office recommends bringing ID with you when you go to vote. Such ID can include, but is not limited to:

  • A California driver’s license

  • A California identification card

  • Student ID

  • U.S. passport

  • A copy of a recent utility bill

  • The county Voter Information Guide sent to you by your county elections office

  • Another document sent to you by a government agency


Find a full list of acceptable IDs at https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/hava-id-standards/.

You do not need to provide an ID to vote in California. For first time voters who did not provide a driver’s license number, state-issued ID number, or the last four digits of their Social Security number on their registration application, the Secretary of State’s office recommends bringing ID with you when you go to vote. Such ID can include, but is not limited to:

  • A California driver’s license

  • A California identification card

  • Student ID

  • U.S. passport

  • A copy of a recent utility bill

  • The county Voter Information Guide sent to you by your county elections office

  • Another document sent to you by a government agency

Make a plan. Check your voter registration and absentee ballot status, look up your voting site and hours at: www.sos.ca.gov/elections/polling-place

2020

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all registered California voters will be mailed an absentee ballot. You do not need to apply for an absentee ballot to be mailed.

  • Secure drop boxes will be placed in each county as an option for returning an absentee ballot.

  • If returning by mail, your ballot must be postmarked on or before Election Day, and must be received by the 17th day following Election Day.

  • Some counties will have vote centers open starting at least four days (October 31) before Election Day.

  • Find more information about drop box locations and vote center dates, hours, and locations at https://caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov/.


By Mail

Any registered voter may vote by mail in California without an excuse. In most counties, to vote by mail you must fill out and sign a Vote-By-Mail Ballot Application. Applications for a mail-in ballot must be received by your county election official no later than seven days before Election Day.



Completed vote-by-mail ballots must be returned in person by the close of polls on Election Day or, if mailed, postmarked on or before Election Day and received within three days of the election.


Early In-Person

Some counties permit voters to cast their ballots in person before Election Day. You may wish to contact your county election officials to determine if your county offers early in-person voting. Contact information for county election official is available at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/county-elections-offices.


Election Day

Voting sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time, then you have a right to vote.

Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:


Federal  Financial Aid

Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell  Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA


Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes

Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes


Tuition Status

Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community


Will registering to vote in California affect my driver’s license or car registration?

Registering to vote in California does not necessarily change your driver’s license and motor vehicle registration. However, as a full–time student in California, you may have to make these changes regardless of whether you register to vote in California. For more information, you may wish to contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed North Carolina legal professional.
 
Last updated March 2019