Qualifications for Registering to Vote

To register to vote in California, you must be:

  • A United States citizen,
  • A resident of California,
  • 18 years of age or older on Election Day,
  • Not currently imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony (for more information on the rights of people who have been incarcerated, please see the Secretary of State`s Voting Rights for Californians with Criminal Convictions or Detained in Jail or Prison), and
  • Not currently found to be mentally incompetent by a court of law.

Political Party Preference

The Republican Party has a rule about who can vote for Republican presidential candidates in the Primary Election. In order to vote for any of the Republican presidential candidates, you must be registered as a Republican. You CANNOT be registered as a Democrat, Decline to State, or any other political party. 

The Democrat Party has a different rule. If you want to vote for anyone of the candidates on the Democrat ballot during a Primary Election, you are NOT required to be registered as a Democrat. You can be registered as a Democrat, a Republican, as Decline to State, or any other political party.

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