California’s primary election is June 7, and county election officials across the state are sending out ballots to registered voters.
Here’s how to register, how to vote by mail or in person, what to do if you didn’t get a ballot, and how to get more information about the election.
How do I check whether I’m registered to vote?
Visit the Secretary of State’s office at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov to check your registration status. You’ll need your California driver’s license number or the last four numbers of your Social Security number. If you recently registered online, the Secretary of State’s office recommends waiting at least 24 hours before checking.
How do I register?
To cast a ballot in this year’s primary election, voters must register by May 23. To register online, visit www.registertovote.ca.gov/. Applications can also be found at public libraries, some post offices and government offices.
If you miss the deadline, visit a voting center on or before June 7 to complete a conditional voter registration. This will allow you to cast a ballot, which will count once county election officials verify the voter registration.
California’s 2022 primary election ballot includes races for governor, attorney general, the Legislature and Congress, as well as local contests.
What if I want to change political parties?
You must re-register online at RegisterToVote.ca.gov or apply in person at a county election office.
Where can I find a voter guide?
The Secretary of State’s office is mailing guides between April 28 and May 17, and it’s available online. Voting information is also available in Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese. Call your local elections office or the Secretary of State at (800) 345-8683 to have an application mailed to you in those languages.
Can I vote if I don’t have a permanent address?
Your right to vote doesn’t cancel out if you’re homeless, living off the grid or don’t yet have a fixed place. You must, however, be 18 years or older on election day, a U.S. citizen and a state resident to qualify to vote. Voters can fill out the address section on the registrations form with the place they spend most of their time; that will help elections officials determine which contests they’re eligible to vote for.
What happens if I didn’t get a ballot?
The deadline for county officials to begin mailing ballots is Monday, May 9. If one doesn’t arrive, county election officials will mail you a second ballot if you request it. Otherwise, apply for a late vote-by-mail ballot by filling out this form, then submit the application in person to your local county election office.
How do I return my mail-in ballot?
Ballots can be submitted in person at voting centers or in drop boxes. To find your closest center or drop boxes, enter your city and ZIP code here. Ballots can also be mailed to county election officials so long as they are postmarked on or before June 7, election day. To be counted, a ballot must be received no later than June 14.
I want to vote in person. How do I find out where to go?
Your sample ballot should have an address printed on it showing your local polling site. If an address isn’t listed, call the Secretary of State’s voter hotline at (800) 345-8683 or search online. Early voting sites can be found here.
If you can’t find your ballot in the mail, you can show up at your local polling place and vote with a provisional ballot or request a late mail ballot.
I made a mistake on my ballot. What can I do?
It’s best to contact your local county elections office and order a new ballot. Elections officials will be able to guide you if you’ve made a mistake once you’ve already submitted your ballot.
OK, I voted. How can I make sure it got counted?
Track your ballot online here. There you’ll be able to see when it was received and when it was counted.
What happens next?
County election officials count ballots and certify the results, and mail-in ballots postmarked by election day have seven days to trickle in after in-person voting June 7. County election officials must send official numbers to the Secretary of State by July 8. And then it’s on to the Nov. 8 general election.