Are you 16 or older?
If you are between 16 and 17 years old and meet all of the other eligibility requirements to vote, you'll be automatically registered to vote on your 18th birthday!
What do I need to register to vote?
To vote in the State of California, you must be a US Citizen.
Here’s what you’ll need to register to vote:
- The last four digits of your Social Security Number
- Driver's License Number or State Identification Number
- Language of preference for receiving election materials.
- Election materials are available in 10 languages including English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Hindi, Khmer, and Thai
- Political Party Preference
- There are 6 qualified political parties in the State of California
- Do I have to choose a party? No, but if left blank you will be registered as "No Party Preference," which could affect your eligibility to vote in presidential primaries. Voting in Presidential Primary Elections).
Check Your Registration Status
Before each election, it is a good idea to check your registration status.
You will need…
- Last four digits of your Social Security Number
- Driver's License Number or California Identification Number
Changing Voter Registration
It is important to keep your information up to date. Did you change your address? Name? Political party preference? If so, you should re-register to vote.
Getting Your Ballot
Moving? Leaving for college?
- Do you live at the address on your registration form? If so, you are all set. Your ballot will be mailed there!
- Do you have a separate mailing address? If you didn’t enter it in when you registered to vote, or if you need to update your registration information, go to registertovote.ca.gov
- Are you away at college? No problem. The county will send you a ballot to your college address if you fill out this Change of Mailing Address form.
To make sure your vote is counted, there are a few rules to follow when filling out your ballot.
- Sign the envelope between the two punch holes. Make sure your signature matches the signature of your voter registration record. If it doesn't match, the County Elections Office will contact you to verify your signature. If you don’t respond, your vote will not be counted.
- Use a black or blue pen and completely fill in the oval (like you do for standardized testing).
- You don't have to mail in your ballot. Instead, you can drop it off at a designated County ballot drop box.
- If you made a mistake on your ballot, you can correct your ballot; you just need to make it clear. Did you color in the wrong oval? No worries. Draw a large X through it and mark the oval that you want with arrows pointing towards it.
You can also request a new ballot be mailed to you, provided it is earlier than seven days before election day. If you need a replacement ballot within the week of election day you will need to visit a Vote Center.
- Your voter registration signature is your driver’s license signature or any other document that the County Elections Office has with your signature on it.
In San Mateo County you can vote at any of the voting centers in the county! Find a vote center near you.