Voter Information

Election-Related Questions or Problems

For election-related questions (such as polling places, voter registration, etc) or for reporting voting-related issues or fraud you may call one or more of the following hotlines:

  • CA Secretary of State Voter Protection Hotline: 800-345-VOTE [8683]

Quick Tips for Voters

  • You don’t have to vote every item on the ballot: Of course, it is always best to research all issues and exercise your right to vote on them. But you may leave blank those ballot items that you don’t consider very important to you. Whatever you do, never let lack of time be the reason why you miss voting in any election. Remember that even though who or what you vote for will remain anonymous, whether or not you vote at any given election is recorded. Politicians sometimes pay more attention to those voters who consistently vote in every election.

  • Smart Voter: To find your polling place, the sample ballot in your district, and other unbiased types of voter information, visit

  • If you have registered to vote, but have not received any election material: DON’T GIVE UP! You should start by contacting the local election office in your county to verify your registration. And ultimately, if by Election Day you still haven’t received your election material, go to your polling place (which you can find either online or from calling your local election office). They may have your name on their list, in which case you’ll be able to vote as anyone else would. If they don’t have your name on their list, then ask for a PROVISIONAL (or challenged) BALLOT and vote that way.

  • Cast a “challenged or provisional ballot” even if the poll worker says you are not registered: Also see the previous item.

  • Mistakes can cause your ballot to be thrown out: Any identifying marks on a paper ballot may disqualify the entire ballot. If you are using paper ballots (such as absentee ballots), avoid any marks on the ballot. For example, don’t use a corner of the ballot to see if your pen is out of ink. Also, avoid making more choices than allowed for each office or item. If you mark the wrong choice on a paper ballot and wish to change it, you’ll need to speak to an election official and exchange your ballot for a blank one.

  • Take an ID and proof of residency to your polling place on Election Day: Depending on how you filled out your registration form, you may be asked to show a photo ID and proof of residency in your county (such as a driver’s license with your correct residence address).


  • Be sure to sign the back of the ENVELOPE of your absentee ballot

  • Be sure to put enough postage on your absentee ballot: If you choose to mail your absentee ballot, then be sure to put enough postage on it.

  • Your absentee ballot must be RECEIVED—one way or another—by 8:00 pm on Election Day: Postmarks don’t matter! So, if you haven’t mailed your absentee ballot by Friday before the election, then hand-deliver it instead of mailing it.

  • You may hand-deliver your absentee ballot: If you are an absentee voter, you may hand-deliver your completed absentee ballot (sealed in your signed envelope) either to your local election office or to your local polling place (on the Election Day before 8:00 pm).

Voter Bill of Rights

  1. You have the right to cast a ballot if you are a valid registered voter. A valid registered voter means a United States citizen who is a resident in this state, who is at least 18 years of age and not in prison or on parole for conviction of a felony, and who is registered to vote at his or her current residence address.

  2. You have the right to cast a provisional ballot if your name is not listed on the voting rolls.

  3. You have the right to cast a ballot if you are present and in line at the polling place prior to the close of the polls.

  4. You have the right to cast a secret ballot free from intimidation.

  5. You have the right to receive a new ballot if, prior to casting your ballot, you believe you made a mistake. If, at any time before you finally cast your ballot, you feel you have made a mistake, you have the right to exchange the spoiled ballot for a new ballot. Absentee voters may also request and receive a new ballot if they return their spoiled ballot to an elections official prior to the closing of the polls on Election Day.

  6. You have the right to receive assistance in casting your ballot, if you are unable to vote without assistance.

  7. You have the right to return a completed absentee ballot to any precinct in the county.

  8. You have the right to election materials in another language, if there are sufficient residents in your precinct to warrant production.

  9. You have the right to ask questions about election procedures and observe the elections process. You have the right to ask questions of the precinct board and election officials regarding election procedures and to receive an answer or be directed to the appropriate official for an answer. However, if persistent questioning disrupts the execution of their duties, the board or election officials may discontinue responding to questions.

  10. You have the right to report any illegal or fraudulent activity to a local elections official or to the Secretary of State’s Office.