How to register to vote and election information
Before each election, every registered voter receives a sample ballot, the location of his/her polling place, and a vote by mail ballot request form.
Smart Voter: Key in your address and zip code, see the contests on your ballot. Then click away and find information on candidates and ballot measures -- from the League and other nonpartisan sources. Archives of past elections available with election results. Go to Smart Voter.
Link to the final district maps for the 53 California Congressional districts, 40 State Senate, 80 State Assembly and four Board of Equalization districts at CaVotes.org
This link also shows the maps from the 2001 redistricting for comparison.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE
You are eligible to vote in California if on the day of the election you are:
- At least 18 years of age by election day. Seventeen-year-olds who meet eligibility requirements can register to vote if they will turn 18 on or before the next election.
- A citizen of the United States & a California resident.
- You must be registered to vote on or before 15 days prior to the election.
- Not declared mentally incompetent by a court
- Not in prison or parole for a felony conviction
When you register to vote, you must provide proof of identity; a California drivers license, or a California identification card number, or the last four digits of your SS number. If you do not include this information, you will be required to provide identification when you vote the first time.
HOW TO REGISTER TO VOTE
You must be registered on or before 15 days before an election. Forms are available at:
Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters
1555 Berger Dr., #A, 95112
P.O. Box 1147, San Jose, CA 95108
(408) 299-VOTE (8683),
or Toll free (866) 430-VOTE (8683)
Monday-Friday 8 A.M.-5 P.M.
or download a form here
Registration Forms are also available at:
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Post Offices
- City Clerks' Offices.
To reach the ROV bilingual staff, call:
- Spanish: (408) 282-3095
- Vietnamese: (408) 282-3097
- Chinese: (408) 282-3086
- Tagalog: (408) 282-3089
If you register to vote between 15-29 days before the election you may pick up your sample ballot at the Registrar of Voters.
WHO SHOULD REGISTER OR RE-REGISTER
You should register or re-register if you:
- Have never registered in California
- Have moved since you last registered
- Have changed your name since registering
- Wish to change your party affiliation
- Are an ex-felon who has completed parole
WHERE AND WHEN TO VOTE
Your precinct number and the address of your polling place appear on the back of your sample ballot. Ordinarily, polls are open from 7 A.M. to 8 P.M. on election day.
VOTE BY MAIL INFORMATION
You may apply for a vote by mail ballot at any time up to 7 days before an election.
- Anyone may register to vote as a permanent vote by mail voter and automatically receive a ballot by mail. To obtain a permanent vote by mail application, print form from the Registrar of Voters web site or call the Registrar's office to request one to be mailed to you.
Registrar of Voters, Vote by Mail Division
P.O. Box 1740
San Jose, CA 95109
Fax: (408) 293-6002, Phone (408) 299-8640
Vote by Mail Website
- Persons needing assistance to complete a ballot at the polling place may request assistance from the precinct officers.
- A completed, signed vote by mail ballot must be received by the County Registrar by 8:00 P.M. on election day. It may be taken to any polling place within the county by the voter, family member, or caregiver with the voter's signed authorization.
- A first-time voter who registered by mail and votes absentee must include a copy of either a valid photo I.D. or other document that shows the name and address of the voter, such as a utility bill.
- You may vote on weekends two weeks prior to the election at the office of the Registrar of Voters from 8:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M. or other location. Call (408) 299-VOTE for other early voting locations.
You can register with a political party, or you can "decline to state" a party affiliation. Under California's modified closed primary law, registered voters of a particular party receive only the ballot of that party. However, (unaffiliated) "declined to state" voters may choose a party ballot, but only if the party has authorized unaffiliated voters to participate in its primary.