Frequently Asked Questions

Inquire about the availability of documents in accessible formats.​









What are the requirements to register to vote? ​​

  • You may register to vote if:​
    • You are a United States citizen
    • You are a resident of California
    • You are at least 18 years of age (or will be by the date of the next election)
    • You may pre-register to vote if you are 16 or 17 years old. You will automatically be registered to vote on your 18th birthday
    • You have not been found mentally incompetent by a court of law
    • You are not:
      • Currently in a state or federal prison for a felony conviction
      • On parole for a felony conviction

Back to top 

Can I pre-register to vote? 

  • ​Yes, if you are at least 16 years old. You will automatically be registered to vote on your 18th birthday. To pre-register to vote, see How do I register to vote question below

Back to top

How do I register to vote?​​

  • ​You have several options, you may:
    • Register online using the following link:
    • Complete a Voter Registration Form (available at most government offices, public libraries, and post offices)
    • Request a Voter Registration Form be mailed to you by calling the Elections Office at (916) 875-6512 or (800) 762-8019​

Back to top​​

I am homeless. How do I register?​​

  • ​A residence address is required to determine your voting districts
    • If you do not have an address that includes a house number and street name, you must provide a description of the location you consider your home or domicile (such as cross streets or landmarks) so we can establish your precinct ​
    • If you do provide cross streets or landmarks, you must also provide a mailing address, such as: a P.O. Box, business, or mail drop address, for the Elections Office to mail your election materials. You still need a residence address on your registration form​​

Back to top

What identification is required to register?​​

  • ​​A California driver’s license or state ID is required the first time you register to vote in California
  • Applicants who do not have either can provide the last four digits of their Social Security number
  • If the identification provided is confirmed, the voter will not be required to show ID when he or she votes
Back to top

How do I know my registration was received?​

  • ​A Voter Notification Card will be mailed to you within 6 weeks of the date you submitted your registration. Please contact our office at (916) 875-6512, if you haven’t received notification

Back to top​​​

How do I check my voter registration status?​

Back to top

When is it necessary to re-register?​

  • ​You must re-register whenever you change your:
    • Name
    • Residence address
    • Political party
Back to top 

Why is it important to keep my voter registration current?​

  • Your voter registration should have your current residence and mailing address to ensure that you receive the correct ballot material
  • Election mail is not forwarded

Back to top

I did not vote in the last election, do I need to re-register?​

  • ​You are registered to vote as long as you remain at the same address and have voted within the last four years. To check your registration status:​

Back to top

I missed the registration deadline (15 days before Election Day), can I still vote?​

  • ​Yes, you can take advantage of the new Conditional Voter Registration options, available 14 days before and on Election Day. Conditional Voter Registration is offered at the Elections Office and Vote Centers and will allow you to register and vote a ballot 

Back to top

What is Conditional Voter Registration?​

  • ​Conditional Voter Registration extends the existing 15-day registration deadline to eligible voters, allowing them to register and vote 14 days prior to an election through Election Day. An eligible individual can go to his or her County Elections Office (14 days before an election through Election Day) or any Vote Center in the County (10 days before an election through Election Day) to conditionally register to vote and vote a ballot

Back to top

When did Conditional Voter Registration go into effect?​

  • ​Conditional Voter Registration became operative January 1, 2017, after the statewide voter registration database was certified​

Back to top

Where do I need to go to register as a conditional voter?​

  • You can register as a conditional voter at:
    • Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections Office, located at 7000 65th Street, Suite A, Sacramento, 95823
    • Vote Centers 10 days before an election through Election Day. 

Back to top

Will my Conditional Voter Registration be treated the same as all other registrations?​

  • Yes, your Conditional Voter Registration will be treated and processed the same as all other registrations

Back to top

What do I need to do to conditionally register and vote?​

  • You need to complete a Voter Registration Form and then cast your ballot at the Elections Office or any Vote Center within the County
  • Please note, the Conditional Voter Registration ballot cannot be taken from the premises and returned at a later date

Back to top

What is a Conditional Voter Registration Ballot?​

  • A Conditional Voter Registration ballot is a regular ballot that will be processed upon verification of your Conditional Voter Registration

Back to top

Can a Conditional Voter Registration ballot be mailed to me?​

  • No, a Conditional Voter Registration ballot can only be issued in person at the:
    • County Election’s Office (14 days before an election through Election Day)
    • Vote Centers 

Back to top

​​Will I be able to check whether or not my Conditional Voter Registration ballot has been counted?​

I became a new citizen after the registration deadline, can I still register to vote? ​

  • ​​Yes, persons who become naturalized citizens after the close of registration (15 days prior to Election Day) may only register and vote at the Elections Office between the 14th day and the close of the polls at 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. New citizens must present a Certificate of Naturalization which must have a naturalization date that is after the closing date of registration and they must declare that they have established residence in Sacramento County

Back to top

How do I cancel my voter registration in Sacramento County?​

  • Print, complete and sign the Voter Registration Cancellati​on Form using the following link:​​

  • Send a written request stating that you no longer want to be registered in Sacramento County along with your name, address, birth date and signature
    • Mail to Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections Office, 7000 65th Street, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95823
    • Email as a scanned attachment to 
    • Fax the document to (916) 854-8856

How do I notify the Elections Office that a voter is deceased?  ​​

  • ​The Elections Office receives monthly updates from the State of all deaths within Sacramento County
  • To request a voter’s registration be cancelled, immediate family members may call our office at (916) 875-6512

Back to top

​I believe I am registered, but can’t find my record using the Voter Registration Lookup tool. ​

  • When using the Voter Registration Lookup tool, enter the numbers in your residence address only – do not enter your street name. Enter your date of birth in mm/dd/yyyy format. If you are still unable to locate your record, please call our office at (916) 875-6512, for verification 

Back to top

Will my name be removed from the voter registration list?​

  • Your name may be removed from the voter registration list if:
    • You do not respond to election mail for two consecutive General Elections
    • We receive notification from the Department of Motor Vehicles that you have moved out of the County

Back to top

May I sign a petition if I am not registered to vote? ​

  • ​No, you must be a registered voter with your current address on file for your signature to be valid on a petition​

Back to top

I have been receiving political mail and phone calls at my home. Where are they getting my information?​

  • This information can be obtained from a variety of sources, including the voter registration list. Current law allows voter registration data to be provided to authorized persons or groups and used for election, governmental, scholarly or political research purposes
  • If you would like to remove your phone number from your registration, please call our office at (916) 875-6512   

Back to top

​​Why is Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) involved in voter registration?​​

  • ​​The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 permits persons conducting business at a DMV office to register to vote or update voter registration information

Back to top

Is it true that voter registration lists are used to select citizens for jury duty? ​

  • Yes, jury summons are pulled from the voter registration files and DMV records

Back to top

Why am I receiving multiple Jury Duty Summons?​

  • If your name appears differently on your driver’s license than your voter registration record, you may receive multiple notices. To remedy this situation, complete and return to the Elections Office a new Voter Registration Form with your name printed as it appears on your driver’s license, or complete a new voter registration online at the following link:
  • The Jury Commissioner may select jurors from lists provided by the DMV and the County Elections Office
  • Updating your voter record to match your driver’s license or ID may eliminate multiple summons

Back to top


Why did I receive a Vote by Mail ballot?​

  • ​With the passage of the California Voter’s Choice Act (VCA), and approval by the Board of Supervisors, every registered voter in Sacramento County, starting with the June 2018 election, will automatically be mailed a Vote by Mail ballot, beginning 29 days before an election. This allows voters to decide how, when, and where they vote​

When should I expect my Vote by Mail ballot to arrive?​

  • Ballots are mailed beginning 29 days before an election. If you have not received your ballot two weeks before an election, please call our office at (916) 875-6155​

Back to top

Can I still vote in person or do I have to vote by mail?​​

  • You may vote in person at any Vote Center in Sacramento County or at our office at 700​0 65th Street, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95823. If you would like to vote in person, it is helpful, though not required, to bring your Vote by Mail ballot to surrender to an election official​

Back to top

I am temporarily out of the county or state. Can I get my ballot mailed to a different address?​

  • ​Yes, please call our office at (916) 875-6155, and we will mail your ballot to your temporary address

Back to top

How do I get a replacement ballot?​

  • Please call our office at (916) 875-6155, and we will mail you a replacement ballot
  • You may also pick up a replacement ballot from any Vote Center located in Sacramento County, or at our office at 7000 65th Street, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95823​​​

Back to top

Do I need postage to mail my ballot?​​

  • If you use your pink mail ballot envelope, you do not need any postage​
  • If you are dropping your ballot in a Sacramento County Ballot Drop Box or at a Vote Center, you do not need postage

Back to top

I am a U.S. citizen living temporarily (military service, employment or study program) outside the United States. Am I eligible to vote?​

  • Yes, as long as you meet the voting requirements and complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and return it to our office. You may obtain an application at any of the options listed below:​
Back to top

​​When are overseas ballots mailed?​

  • Overseas ballots can start to be mailed as early as 60 days prior to the date of the election. As an overseas voter, you may receive your ballot one of three ways:​
    • An email link
    • By mail
    • By fax 
  • If you are an overseas voter and have not received your ballot four (4) weeks before the election, please contact our office for a replacement. You may contact us by:

When is the last day to return my Vote by Mail ballot?​

  • Voted ballots sent through the mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by the Elections Office no later than three days after the election 
    • Drop your ballot off at any Sacramento County Ballot Drop Box or Vote Center, or at our office at 7000 65th Street, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95823, no later than 8:00 PM on Election Day

My son/daughter is away at school. Can I pick up their Vote by Mail ballot?​

  • A ballot will automatically be mailed to their mailing address. If you need to pick up a replacement ballot for them, you may do so with a signed request from your son or daughter authorizing you to do so. 
  • They may call our office at (916) 875-6155, and we will mail a ballot to their address
Back to top

I lost the envelope for my Vote by Mail ballot, how can I send in my ballot?​

  • You may pick up a new Vote by Mail envelope at any Vote Center in Sacramento County, or at our office at 7000 65th Street, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95823
  • You may use a replacement ballot envelope at any Ballot Drop Box in Sacramento County. Please fill in the requested information and sign where indicated. Every Ballot Drop Box location will have extra envelopes
  • Use a plain envelope and include the following on the outside:
    • Your name
    • Residence address
    • Signature
    • Write the following statement, “I declare under penalty of perjury that: I am a resident of the precinct in Sacramento County, California, from which I am voting; I am the person whose name appears on this envelope; I have not applied for and do not intend to apply for a Vote by Mail ballot from any other jurisdiction for this election.”
    • Place and seal your voted ballot in the envelope with the information above
    • Insert the voted ballot envelope into a separate outgoing envelope and mail to: Voter Registration and Elections, Attn: Vote by Mail Division, 7000 65th Street, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95823​
Back to top​​

Why did Sacramento County choose to adopt the Voter’s Choice Act?

  • Sacramento County adopted the Voter’s Choice Act to modernize elections to reflect the lives of today’s voters. The Voter’s Choice Act will make voting more convenient by providing voters with more options of how, when, and where they vote. Currently, 64% of Sacramento County voters permanently vote by mail.  With the Voter’s Choice Act, all voters will be mailed a Vote by Mail ballot.  Instead of being limited to voting at one polling place on Election Day, you will now be able to vote in person at a universal Vote Center (as early as ten days before Election Day), by mail, or by dropping your voted ballot in a Ballot Drop Box​
Back to top​​​

What is a Vote Center?

  • A “Vote Center” is a universal polling place where any registered voter in Sacramento County may vote. Simply stated, with Vote Centers, there is no wrong place to vote!
Back to top​​​​​​

What are the advantages of the Voter’s Choice Act?​

  • ​The Voter’s Choice Act provides for Vote Centers which make voting more convenient. Voters are able to choose where and when they vote
  • All registered voters receive a Vote by Mail ballot in the mail​
  • More days to vote, 10 days before an election, including weekends and holidays
  • More locations to register to vote
  • More locations to vote before Election Day
  • Drop your ballot at any Ballot Drop Box location or Vote Center
  • More locations to get a replacement ballot
  • More accessible voting machines
  • Language assistance at Vote Centers
Back to top​​​​​​​

What voting​ assistance is available at a Vote Center?

  • Each Vote Center will be equipped with three (3) accessible ballot marking devices so all voters can cast a ballot independently and privately. Voters can still bring up to two people to assist them during the voting process, as long as they are not the voter’s employer or union representative
  • Read more information about the accessible ballot marking device​, known as the ImageCastX (ICX) tablet
  • Vote Centers will also have bilingual assistance and all Vote Centers will have access to a language translation service. Please call our office at (916) 875-6100, to see what language assistance is available at a Vote Center near you
Back to top​​​​​​​​

How do I find the closest Vote Center to me?​

  • Beginning 30 days before each election, you can find a list of Vote Centers and Ballot Drop Box locations:
    • Included in your County Voter Information Guide
    • On our website 
Back to top​​​​​​​​​

Does the Sacramento County Elections Office offer any apps for voters to use?​

  • ​Yes, the SACVOTE app, available for free download to mobile devices. Some of the features provided are:
    • A quick and easy access to register to vote online
    • Verifying your voter registration status
    • Finding the closest Vote Center and Ballot Drop Box location to you 30 days before an election
Back to top

Can anyone in the State of California vote at a Sacramento County Vote Center?​

  • No, only those that are registered or are eligible to register to vote in Sacramento County may vote at a Vote Center in Sacramento County

Are Vote Centers open on weekends or holidays?​

  • Vote Centers will be open starting 10 days before Election Day.  This includes two weekends and holidays as they fall
Back to top

How many Vote Centers is Sacramento County required to have?​

  • ​The number of Vote Centers is determined by the number of registered voters in the County 88 days before Election Day. Based on our projected registration totals for 2020, Sacramento County will provide a minimum of 18 Vote Centers open for 11 days and 84 Vote Centers open for 4 days
Back to top​​

What keeps a person from voting twice by going to a different Vote Center?​​

  • The State of California has implemented a statewide voter registration database. All counties will be able to determine if a voter has already voted anywhere in the State of California
Back to top​​​

What is a Ballot Drop Box?​

  • A Ballot Drop Box is a secure, accessible, and locked receptacle available for voters to drop-off Vote by Mail ballot envelopes beginning 28 days ​before the election. Drop Boxes will be available during the locations’ regular business hours. No postage will be needed when using a Drop Box​
Back to top​​​​

How many Ballot Drop Boxes is Sacramento County required to have?​

  • The number of Ballot Drop Boxes is determined by the number of registered voters in the County 88 days before Election Day. There will be approximately 58 Drop Boxes throughout Sacramento County which is about 1 for every 15,000 registered voters. This includes one drive-thru/walk-up Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Elections Office at 7000 65th Street, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95823
Back to top

Will the Ballot Drop Boxes be secure?​​

  • ​Inside Ballot Drop Boxes are secured, locked, and in full view of a person. The County has two large 24 hour drive-thru/walk-up Ballot Drop Boxes that are metal, locked, and bolted to the ground located outside the Elections Office and another outside the Citrus Heights City Hall​
  • Ballot Drop Boxes are made of durable material to withstand vandalism, removal and inclement weather. Ballots are retrieved on a regular schedule by election staff

How does the County select Vote Centers and Ballot Drop Box locations?​​

  • The County is working with the community to take suggestions and input on Vote Center and Ballot Drop Box locations. You can email​ with suggestions for possible locations. Before use, all locations will be surveyed by the Elections Office to ensure they are accessible to voters with disabilities. Once a location is surveyed, our office will work directly with the site to confirm availability for the required timeframe in Election Code 4005
Back to top​​​

What is the criteria that is considered for selecting Vote Centers and Ballot Drop Box locations? ​​

  • California Election Code 4005 refers to 14 different criteria that must be considered when selecting Vote Centers and Ballot Drop Box locations. These include:
    • Proximity to public transportation​
    • Communities with historically low vote by mail usage
    • Population centers
    • Language minority communities
    • Voters with disabilities
    • Communities with low rates of household vehicle ownership
    • Low-income communities
    • Communities of eligible voters who are not registered to vote and may need access to same day voter registration
    • Geographically isolated populations
  • In addition, we must consider:
    • Access to accessible and free parking at Vote Centers and Drop Box locations
    • The distance and time a voter must travel by car or public transportation to a Vote Center and Drop Box location
    • Ability for voters with disabilities to cast an independent private ballot
    • Traffic patterns near Vote Centers and Drop Box locations
    • The need for mobile Vote Centers in addition to the number of Vote Centers established. The need for additional Vote Centers open for a shorter period of time
    • Facility availability and commitment to serve the voters​
    • Public input and suggestions​
Back to top

I have a location that might serve as a Vote Center or Ballot Drop Box location, how do I let you know?​​

  • We are always looking for potential Vote Center or Ballot Drop Box locations to serve the community! All potential locations must be surveyed by the Elections Office to ensure accessibility requirements are met. To recommend a location or obtain more information about the requirements for serving as a Vote Center, please contact us by:
  • ​We will be contacting each voter by mail
  • We are creating public service announcements, and working closely with media outlets, that include required minority languages, such as: local newspapers, radio stations, and television
  • We participate in community events throughout the year and work with local community, disability and language groups to educate the public. If you know of any events that you would like the Elections Office to participate in, please email with more information
  • No person on Election Day shall, within 100 feet from the room within which the voting is taking place, wear buttons, badges, shirts or any item with a political statement or candidates’ names. Also, no newspaper, radio, or television can be on with political information at any Voter Center. California Election Code, 319.5, 18370
Back to top​​​


Who are my elected representatives?

  • You can find information on your elected representatives by calling our office at (916) 875-6451, or using the following link: Elected Representatives
Back to top​​​ ​

Where can I find a list of candidates that are qualified for an election?​

Back to top

Where can I find past election results?

Back to top

​​​How do I recall an elected official?​​

  • ​You can find information on recalls using the following link: Guide to Recall


What is a high school mock election?​

  • ​This is a program that is offered to high school students throughout Sacramento County; it promotes civic responsibility, teaching the requirements of registering and the importance of voting. Each mock election includes voting with current equipment and a ballot that resembles one given to voters on Election Day​

When do the high school mock elections take place?​

  • The high school mock elections take place approximately two months before each Primary and General Election
    • We offer voter education presentations and registration drives all year long

How do I schedule a mock election for my students or school?​​

Where can I find a schedule of events the Elections Office will be attending?​

How do I invite the Elections Office to attend or present at my event?​​

  • Our office is always looking for opportunities to engage and inform the public. Some of the services we offer are:
    • Host a booth at events​
    • Registration drives
    • Mock elections
    • Presentations
    • Informational flyers and brochures
    • Speaking engagements