Voter File Maintenance

​Gatekeepers of the Voter File

  • The Voter File is the Election Management System’s list of registered voters in Sacramento County.
  • Voter Registration and Elections (VRE) is the only agency that may update the Voter File in Sacramento County. Agencies provide information which staff manually processes.
  • Voter File Maintenance is conducted year-round.
  • Main transaction types are:

1. Registration and Re-registration

2. Third Party Change of Address Update

3. Cancellation

Registration and Re-registration

  • Registration and re-registration forms are received from new and existing voters by drop off, mail or via the California Online Voter Registration system.
  • When a citizen completes any transaction at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), they are prompted to register to vote or update their voter registration or opt out. If they do not opt-out, a new transaction is submitted.
  • Voters are mailed a Voter Notification Card upon registration or reregistration as a confirmation of the transaction.

Third Party Change of Address

  • Election Materials cannot be forwarded by the United States Postal Service (USPS).
  • Undeliverable correspondence is returned to VRE.
  • Forward request correspondence is returned by the USPS with a nixie sticker showing the voter’s address. These returns are updated in the Voter File with the information received from the USPS.
  • Electronic Change of Address information is received from the DMV and the USPS.
  • Anytime a voter’s record is updated due to third party information, a postcard is sent to the voter to verify the update.


  • Cancellation forms are received from voters in the daily mail.
  • A voter’s registration may be canceled when we receive:

1. a signed written request from the voter

2. notification that the mental incompetency of the voter is legally established

3. proof that the voter is presently imprisoned for the conviction of a felony.

4. official notification that the voter is registered to vote in another state.

5. notification the voter is deceased.

  • Agencies VRE receives cancelation information from (not all inclusive):

1. California Department of Corrections.

2. Sacramento County Superior Court.

3. California Department of Public Health.

4. Sacramento County Public Health.

5. Other state and county voter registration offices.

Address Maintenance

  • VRE maintains an active list of addresses throughout the county. All addresses are categorized into different types: Residential, Valid Business, Mail Drop, etc.
  • If someone attempts to register to vote at an invalid address, VRE will reach out to confirm domicile before they can become registered.
  • “Locator Addresses” are addresses created to allow unsheltered voters to register to vote.

Voter Status

Active: Voter appears in the Voter File and receives election materials in the mail.

Inactive: Voter does not receive election materials and must confirm information.

Cancelled: Voter is not registered and must re-register to become eligible to vote.

Pending: Not an active voter. Additional information is needed before being registered to vote.

Going Above and Beyond

  • VRE completes several miscellaneous procedures to maintain an accurate Voter File.
  • If a voter’s identity cannot be verified upon registration, they are designated a “First Time Federal Voter.” VRE contacts the voter to request an acceptable form of identification. They must provide this identification before their ballot can be accepted.
  • Sacramento County provides election materials in multiple languages. VRE reaches out to voters to ensure their language preference on file is accurate.

Why is Voter File Maintenance Important?

  • Voter’s signatures must be kept up to date to reference against Vote by Mail envelopes and petitions.
  • The scope of VRE’s services are determined by the number of registered voters. Registration totals determine things like Candidate Filing Fees as well as the number of Vote Centers and Ballot Drop Boxes VRE must provide each election. Election integrity begins with the maintenance of an accurate Voter File.

What Can You Do?

  • VRE relies on information from the public to maintain an accurate Voter File.
  • If you receive mail from VRE addressed to someone who no longer lives there, please return it.
  • When your name, address, party preference, or signature changes, re-register to vote.