Your Rights as a Voter

Who Can Vote

You have the right to vote if you are a registered voter. You are eligible to vote if you are: 

  • a U.S. citizen living in California
  • at least 18 years old
  • registered where you currently live
  • not currently serving a state or federal prison term for the conviction of a felony
  • not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court

If you are a person with a prior felony conviction, find out if you are eligible to register to vote in California by using the state Voting Rights Restored tool.

Voter Rights in California

  • The right to vote if you are a registered voter even if your name is not on the list.
    You will vote using a provisional ballot. Your vote will be counted if elections officials determine that you are eligible to vote. 
  • The right to vote if you are still in line when the polls close.
  • The right to cast a secret ballot without anyone bothering you or telling you how to vote.
  • The right to get a new ballot if you have made a mistake, if you have not already cast your ballot. You can: 
        • Ask an elections official at a polling place for a new ballot,
        • Exchange your vote-by-mail ballot for a new one at an elections office, or at your polling place, or
        • Vote using a provisional ballot.
  • The right to get help casting your ballot from anyone you choose, except from your employer or union representative.
  • The right to drop off your completed vote-by-mail ballot at any polling place in California.
  • The right to get election materials in a language other than English if enough people in your voting precinct speak that language.
  • The right to ask questions to elections officials about election procedures and watch the election process.  If the person you ask cannot answer your questions, they must send you to the right person for an answer.  If you are disruptive, they can stop answering you.
  • The right to report any illegal or fraudulent election activity to an elections official or the California Secretary of State’s office.

If you believe you have been denied any of these rights, or you are aware of any election fraud or misconduct, please call the California Secretary of State’s confidential toll-free Voter Hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683).