You do NOT need photo identification to vote in California.[Leer en español aquí.]
Never leave the polling place without voting. If someone tells you that you can’t vote for any reason, demand a “provisional ballot” and vote as you planned. In California, provisional ballots are counted after elections officials have confirmed that you are registered to vote and that you did not vote elsewhere in that election.
The only time you need to show any documents before voting is if you registered online or by mail and did not include your driver’s license, state ID, or Social Security number AND it is your first time voting, you’ll need to show documentation showing your name and address. Click here for a list of acceptable forms of identification.
If you feel you are being harassed or someone is telling you that you cannot vote, please call (866) OUR-VOTE (687-8683).
There are two ways to cast a ballot:
1) At a polling place or vote center:
In counties participating in the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) model, eligible individuals may vote at any vote center in the county. In VCA counties, some vote centers are open 10 days before Election Day, some are open 4 days before Election Day, and some are open only on Election Day. Find a complete list of VCA counties here.
In counties that are not participating in the VCA model, eligible individuals may vote at their assigned polling place or at their county elections office on Election Day.
When you arrive, election workers will tell you how to cast your ballot. You’ll sign in with them at a check-in table. Feel free to ask them questions.
In VCA counties, all registered voters will be mailed a vote-by-mail ballot a few weeks before each election.
In non-VCA counties, voters who prefer to vote by mail instead of voting in person at a polling place on Election Day can sign up to be permanent vote-by-mail voters when they register to vote or they can request a vote-by-mail ballot for a single election.
Voters may return vote-by-mail ballots by mail, at a ballot drop-box, or at a vote center/polling place. Vote-by-mail ballots MUST be postmarked by Election Day. Remember: you don’t need postage, but you do need to sign the envelope!