How To Register To Vote In California-Questions and Answers

I have participated in numerous voter registration drives and am surprised at how many people find it difficult to fill out the form, and the numerous questions that I am asked about certain boxes.

I am going to explain, line by line, how to fill out a voter registration form, and the answers to questions that I am commonly asked.

Who Can Vote?

--anyone who will be at least 18 years old by the next election

--anyone who is on probation and anyone who has been convicted of a felony but not: someone who is in jail/prison or currently on parole

--only US citizens can register and vote

--no California driver’s license, id or social security number?

Contrary to popular belief, if you don’t have these forms of identification, you can still register to vote. You will be assigned a voter identification number.

photo courtesy of cjc4454; Flckr
photo courtesy of cjc4454; Flckr

Filling Out The Form:

1: First Name (middle name optional)

2: Last Name

3: Optional

4: Home Address (no PO Boxes or Business Addresses)

5: City, State, Zip and County where you reside

6: For no street address, describe where you live (this is for homeless voters)

7, 8: Mailing address:

Enter the address where you want to receive your voter materials, including absentee ballots. Also, if you are a student in college and want to vote, you can list your school address here and opt to receive a vote-by-mail ballot.

9: Date of Birth

10: State or Foreign Country where you were born

11: CA DL number or id number or last 4 digits of social security number.

If you don’t have any of these, you can still register and vote. A voter identification number will be assigned to you.

12 and 13: Email address and/or phone number (optional).

However, if you find that you are having difficulty filling out the form; include your phone number so you can be contacted if there is a problem or missing information with your voter registration form.

14: Political Party

Check this box to register with a political party. American Independent is not Independent like Joe Liebermann.  Instead, it is a party that is to the right of the right.  The link to the official website page is here.  If you don’t want to identify yourself with a political party or don’t know, check the box beside it. You may not be able to vote in primary elections. This depends on the party’s decision to include declined to state voters.

15: If you want to vote by mail, initial here.

Make sure the mailing address listed in number 7 is where you want to receive your voter materials. You must mail your ballot so it arrives before the election. You cannot mail it the day of the election. If you forget to mail your ballot in time, it can be dropped off at any polling place the day of the election.

16: Previous voter information

If you are re-registering due to a name change or a change of address, include your previous information to the best of your ability.

17 and 18: “Yes” must be checked in both boxes, or you are ineligible to vote and can’t register.

19: Signature and date

The voter registration form must be postmarked within three days of this date.

Also, the box to the right should be reviewed. This is where you will specify the language you prefer for your voter materials.

It doesn't cost you any money to register to vote. There is no postage necessary to mail your voter registration form.

You will not be solicited by any sort of business or be the target of telemarketers by registering to vote. You might be contacted by candidates during campaigns.

You will receive voter information by, most likely, all political parties and candidates.

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Comments 2 comments

Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

Excellent! I am not surprised that people have difficulty filling out the forms. But you have gone line by line and explained. Hopefully, difficulty in filling out the form will not keep people from asking for help and yes, actually voting! Thank you for your attention to detail.


Didge profile image

Didge 4 years ago from Southern England

Great hub Deni Edwards, like it!

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