Voter Registration

Look for email updates on the latest Voter Registration events in your area.

Voter Registration Basics

Location – Try to think of a place with plenty of pedestrian foot traffic and with plenty of folks who may need to update their registrations. 

Obama Gear – Feel free to sport your Obama gear loud and proud. We want people to know that Obama is energizing communities across the country.  In California, it is legal for voter registration drives to be conducted by partisan organizations. But remember, you will be representing the President so be respectful of all members of the community.

Tables – Tables can be a nice way to encourage passers-by to stop and register, but don’t worry if you haven’t had time to acquire a table for this event.  A friendly smile and a stack of voter registration forms are all you need to register voters.  Stand outside of a grocery store or walk along Melrose avenue speaking to anyone you can.

Who Can Register? – In California, you must be a California resident and US citizen and at least 18 years of age by the time of the next election.  Felons who are no longer on parole MAY register to vote.  Remember, just because someone is already registered doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t need to fill out a registration card!  Every time you move you have to re-register.  If someone wants to change their political party, they need to re-register.  Voters who change their name need to re-register as well.

Registration Forms – When filling out these registration forms keep in mind the following:

  • Read through your voter registration forms before you begin.  For the most part they are straightforward, but you should have at least a passing familiarity with them before handing them out.
  • Forms must be complete.  Do not leave any boxes empty unless instructed to do so on the form.
  • Be sure to get the applicant’s phone number on the card.  Cards will be reviewed for completion. If there is a problem, the team checking need to able to contact registrants with incomplete forms.
  • If the applicant has been issued a California driver’s license (even if it is no longer valid) they must give their driver’s license number on the form.  Only in the event that the applicant has never been issued a CA driver’s license should you use the applicant’s social security number.
  • If an applicant asks to take the form home, please encourage them to give you the form.  Tell them that we will double check to make sure that the information is complete and that we will save them a trip to the post office.  Do whatever you can to get the form filled out in front of you since these registrations only count towards our total if we get the forms back.
  • If someone requests a form but does not wish to return it to you for any reason, you must give them a form.

When is the last day I may register to vote for an election?

Registration closes for purposes of voting on the 15th day before the election.

Who can register to vote?
Any U.S. citizen may register to vote if he or she is or will be at least 18 years old by election day, a resident of California, has not been legally judged mentally incompetent to do so, and is not imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony.

If I do not provide my driver’s license number, can I still register to vote?
Federal and state law require you to provide an identification number. If you have a driver’s license or state identification card, you must provide the number.  If you have neither, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number. If you have none of these forms of identification, a unique identifier will
be assigned to you. But if you do have one of these documents and the elections official is able to locate it, the number will be applied to your voter registration record.

I have just moved. Do I need to re-register?
Yes. The voter rolls should always have the address where you currently live.

I want to change political parties. Do I need to re-register?
Yes. Be certain to complete Box 10 of the voter registration form with your previous registration information.

I did not vote in the last election. Do I need to re-register?
No. In general, you are registered for as long as you live at the same address, and you should continue to receive election materials in the mail.

I will be 18 years old on Election Day, but after the registration deadline. May I register to vote?
Yes, since you will be 18 years of age on or before the election date.

If a person does not vote in a primary election, will he or she be able to vote in the following November general election?

I have moved. May I change my address over the phone?
No. You should notify the elections official by mail.

I just moved next door (or to another apartment in the same building). Do I need to re-register?
You should re-register whenever you change your residence address.

I am away at school. Do I use my college or my parents’ address?
You may use whichever one you consider to be your domicile, but not both.

I am on parole for a felony. May I register to vote?
No. You may register when your parole period is completed.

My husband is out of town but needs to register. May I sign him up?
No. He must sign the card himself, under penalty of perjury. He can complete the voter registration card and mail it from wherever he is. He may also apply for a registration form via the Internet at the Secretary of State’s website.

If I register to vote will I be called for jury duty?
Jury duty lists are compiled from a variety of sources, including Department of Motor Vehicles records and voter registration lists.

Always be sure to complete Box 10 of the voter registration card if you have ever been previously registered to vote.

Posted in Organizing, Voter Registration.