Who can register to vote?
You may register to vote if you meet the following criteria:
- You are a United States citizen
- You are a resident of California
- You are not in prison or on parole for conviction of a felony
- You have not been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent to register and vote.
- You are at least 18 years of age (or will be by the date of the next election)
- *Any individual who meets all other requirements and is 16 or older may preregister. These individuals will become registered on their 18th birthday.
What are my rights if I am incarcerated?
For more information on the rights of people who are incarcerated, please see our Voting Guide for Inmates.
How do I register to vote?
Please see our Register to Vote page for information regarding where and how to register.
What is the deadline to register to vote?
The deadline to register to vote is 15 days prior to each local and statewide Election Day.
To be eligible to vote in the June 7, 2016 Presidential Primary Election, you must register to vote by May 23, 2016.
To be eligible to vote in the November 8, 2016 Presidential General Election, you must register to vote by October 24, 2016.
I have just moved, do I have to re-register?
Your voter registration should always reflect your current residence. However, if you have moved from your home into a temporary residence that you do not intend to use as your permanent residence, you can continue to use your prior permanent residence where you were previously registered to vote as your address for the purpose of voting.
I did not vote in the last election, do I have to re-register to vote?
In general, you are registered to vote for as long as you remain at the same address. However, if you have not voted in the last several elections, you may be sent a request to confirm that you have not moved.
I registered to vote at the D.M.V., but your dept says that I am not
Contact our offices at (831) 636-4016 and provide them with any documentation you may have to help establish when and where you registered. In many cases your county elections official may be able to verify the potential registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Why is the D.M.V. involved in voter registration?
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as the Motor Voter law, permits people conducting business at a DMV office to register to vote or update their voter registration information.
Where do I send my voter registration form?
If you have downloaded a voter registration form from the Secretary of State’s webpage, it will be pre-addressed to go to your county elections official for quicker processing. Statewide forms are sent to the Secretary of State’s office, which in turn must forwarded to our offices.
I am now living overseas, can I vote?
If you are a US citizen and are going to be overseas or if you are in the military and wish to vote vote-by-mail, there are special provisions for you to register and receive an overseas vote-by-mail ballot. To do this you may need to complete a “Federal Post Card Registration and vote-by-mail Ballot Request,” and mail it to our office SAN BENITO COUNTY REGISTRAR OF VOTERS, 440 Fifth Street – Room 206, Hollister, CA 95023.
I don’t know where to go to vote on election day
While the San Benito County Elections Division tries to keep polling places in the same location, these can change for every election. Each county designates the polling place for each voter and mails a sample ballot to each voter telling them where to vote on Election Day. To view your sample ballot or polling place online, please visit out Find Your Polling Place page.
If further assistance is needed please call our offices at (831) 636-4016.
I used a Vote-By-Mail Ballot, did your office receive it?
Vote-By-Mail ballots status can be checked, here on our website on our vote-by-mail status of my ballot page.
Why am I in a mail ballot precint (Vote-By-Mail)?
Elections Code section 3005 provides that people who live in precincts with fewer than 250 voters may be sent vote-by-mail ballots.
Upon receiving a vote-by-mail ballot, all you need to do is vote for the contests on the ballot, provide the required information, and mail the voted ballot back to your county elections office. It must be postmarked no later than the date of the election, and received in our office no later than 3 days after the election (generally Friday).
If you cannot mail your voted vote-by-mail ballot to your county elections office, you can cast your voted ballot at any polling place in your county by the close of the polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. To determine the location of a nearby polling place, you can view our Find Your Polling Place page, or call the Elections Division Office.
What are the requirements to run for elected office?
These requirements are specific to the office and are posted in our Candidate Handbook which is published for each election. Please view our Candidate Information page.
Are election results on your website? Where are they?
Local county election results can be found in our elections archive dating back to 2008 when Joe Paul Gonzalez established the predecessor to this website as a public service.
The election results from past statewide elections can be found at the Secretary of State’s Election Results.
Do I have to be registered to register others?
No, you do not need to be a registered voter in order to register other people to vote.
How can a person prove his/her citizenship?
California Elections Code section 2111 permits a person to prove they are a citizen who is eligible to register to vote by signing the affidavit of registration under penalty of perjury.
Can I get a copy of the voter registration rolls?
The voter registration rolls are confidential. The Elections Code allows voter information to be released to any candidate for federal, state, or local office, to any committee for or against any initiative or referendum measure for which legal publication is made, and to any person for election, scholarly, journalistic, or political purpose, or for governmental purposes, as determined by the Secretary of State’s office.
To obtain a copy of voter registration information, please complete our Application for Voter Information and bring it to our office.
Where can I get more information?
Additional information can be received by giving our office a call at (831) 636-4016. Our website contains valuable information and may save you a telephone call, however, please feel free to give us a call should you have a question that is not answered or found on this site.