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Registration FAQ's

Keep the Registrar of Voters' office informed of your current address. Let us know if you move so we can update your record before election day. If you have moved or changed your name you must re-register to update your voter record.

  • Am I registered to vote?
  • Check the status of your registration by visiting the My Voter Profile web page.
  • With what party am I registered?
  • Check your party affiliation by visiting the My Voter Profile web page.
  • How do I change my party affiliation?
  • Change your party affiliation at any time by filling out a new registration form; you can use our Online Registration Form. Be sure to re-register at least 15 days prior to the next election in order for the change to take effect for that election.
  • Do I have to join a Political Party?
  • On the voter registration form, you will be asked if you want to choose a political party. You may choose one of the qualified parties listed, or you may select "No Party Preference", which means you do not wish to be affiliated with any political party. If you leave this question blank, you will be assigned to "No Party Preference."
  • How can I vote for the Presidential candidate of my choice during a Primary election?
  • You must be registered with the political party whom the candidate is seeking endorsement. If you are not registered with a political party, you may request a partisan ballot from a political party that allows crossing over. You can learn more about cross over voting by visiting the Crossover FAQ page.
  • I just moved to California, when can I register?
  • Immediately, California does not require you to wait to register. You should, however, allow 4 to 6 weeks for the registration process to be completed.
  • Who can register to vote in Alameda County?
  • You may register to vote if you meet ALL of the following criteria:
    • A citizen of the United States
    • A resident of California
    • At least 18 years of age as of the day of the next election
    • Not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony
    • Not declared to be mentally incompetent by a court
  • What if my name, address, or political party affiliations change?
  • Fill out and submit a new voter registration form with your new information. Your voter registration should always reflect your current residence address to ensure that you receive the correct ballot material regarding candidates and measures on which you can vote. You can register on-line with our Online Registration Form.
  • How can I register to vote?
  • You may register to vote:
    • By Internet: Complete the on-line Alameda County Voter Registration Form.
    • By mail: Mail-in registration forms are widely available at most County buildings, post offices, libraries, Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices.
    • In person: At the Alameda County Registrar of Voters' office in Oakland, 1225 Fallon Street, Room G-1, Oakland, CA 94612.
  • When can I register to vote?
  • There is no waiting period. You may register or re-register to vote at any time. To be eligible to vote in an election, you must have registered 15 days prior to the election.
  • I am a college student living on or around campus, away from home. Can I register with my college residence address?
  • Like all eligible citizens, any college student may register to vote using his/her college residence address or may choose to use his/her family residence. California law (Elections Code §2025) allows college students to establish domicile or legal residence where they attend school if they so desire.
  • 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. If you move to another address or have not voted in several elections, you may be sent a notice requesting that you either confirm that you have not moved or be asked to provide current address information.
  • What if I just moved and did not re-register? Will I be eligible to vote?
  • If you were previously registered in Alameda County and have not re-registered since you moved within the County's borders, you can vote at the polling place for your new address. You will be asked to vote using a provisional ballot and provide your new address and your previous address on the provisional ballot envelope.
  • What happens when I register to vote?
  • When we receive your voter registration card, we enter the information, including the image of your signature into our voter database. Then your registration information is sent to the Secretary of State which verifies it against the DMV or Social Security records. This comparison currently takes 5 business days. If the comparison is successful, the State notifies us that you are eligible to vote.
  • What kind of information do I need to put on the voter registration form?
  • You need to fill out the form with your name, birth date, birth place, address where you currently live, party preference, and your California Drivers License number, or California ID number, or the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number. Then you must sign the form.
  • What if I forget to put all of the required information on the registration card?
  • We will send you a notice about the required missing information and ask you to provide it.
  • What happens if there is a problem with matching my ID information?
  • If there is a problem with your ID information, the Secretary of State will let us know and you will be given a chance to correct your information. In 4-5 weeks, you should receive a card that confirms that you are registered to vote. If your information has not been verified in time for Election Day, you can still using vote a provisional ballot when you go to the polls.
    NOTE: Voters who wait to register until later than 29 days before an election, may not receive the Sample Ballot with information about candidates and measures before the election. In addition, their names will not be on the Roster at the polls. However, voters who register after this time will receive a post card letting them know the location of their polling place and they may vote by provisional ballot at the polls. You may also visit the My Voter Profile page to view your sample ballot and find directions to your polling place.
  • May I register to vote at my business address or may I use my P.O. box number?
  • No. A person may only register to vote at his or her place of residence. A business address or a P.O. box number may only be used as a mailing address.
  • Can an ex-felon register to vote and be eligible to vote?
  • Yes. An ex-felon may register to vote and is eligible to vote in elections if he/she is not currently in prison or on parole for a felony conviction.
  • Can a person on probation register to vote and be eligible to vote?
  • Yes. A person on probation may register to vote and is eligible to vote in elections.
  • I would like to register and vote, but I am a public figure. Will my address be made public?
  • Under current state law, voter registration information is a matter of public record. Public access to specific voter information, including home address and telephone number, however, is restricted. Any person may have his/her residence address, telephone number and email address declared confidential upon order of the Superior Court, or upon presentation of certification that the person is a participant in the Secretary of State’s Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence and Stalking Program.
    Any person granted confidentiality under these circumstances shall be considered an absentee voter for all subsequent County elections or until the County is notified otherwise by the court, the Secretary of State’s office or in writing by the voter.
      Exceptions: Voter information is available to:
    • candidates
    • campaign committees
    • authorized persons using this information for election, scholarly, journalistic, political or governmental purposes
  • I became a "new citizen" after the registration deadline. Can I still register and vote?
  • Yes. Persons who become citizens after the close of registration may only vote at the Registrar of Voters office between the 15th day and the 7th day before an election. New citizens must present a Certificate of Naturalization and declare that they have established residence in Alameda County.
  • I registered at a Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) office. Why does the County say I'm not registered?
  • A number of citizens who thought they had registered at DMV offices are not actually registered. Although they checked the box on the DMV form indicating they wanted to register to vote, many forgot to complete the attached voter registration form. A voter registration form must be completed and signed in order to become a registered voter.
  • Why is the DMV involved in voter registration?
  • The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (also known as Motor Voter) permits persons conducting business at a DMV office to register to vote or update voter registration information.
  • May I sign a petition if I am not registered to vote?
  • No. You must be a registered voter for your signature to be valid on a petition. If you complete and sign a voter registration form on the same date or a date prior to signing the petition, your signature will be valid. The elections official must receive the completed, signed voter registration form on or before the date the petition is filed with the elections office.
  • Is it true that voter registration lists are used to select citizens for jury duty?
  • Yes. California State Statutes require that lists of registered voters be provided to the Jury Commissioner to be used for jury duty selection. When registering to vote you may use your name the way it appears on your CA Driver’s License or CA ID Card, failure to do so may results in multiple jury summons per year.
  • If I cancel my voter registration, can I be certain that I will not get a summons for jury duty?
  • No. The Jury Services Division requests a list of active and cancelled voter files. Additionally, California State Statute requires that lists of licensed drivers, obtained from Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), also be made available to the Jury Commissioner.
  • How are deceased voters removed from the voter registration database?
  • In order to maintain an accurate voter database, the Registrar of Voters continually updates the voter registration records to account for the unfortunate situation of a deceased voter. Upon notification of the deceased party, the Registrar of Voters cancels that voter record. The Registrar of Voters office receives notification through the following methods:
    • Returned mail that is marked "Deceased".
    • Periodic death records provided by the Health Care Agency.
    • The "Calvoter Deceased List", which is a list of deceased voters provided by the California Secretary of State’s office multiple times a year.
    • The roster index correction request, which is available at the polling places on Election Day.
    • The Registrar of Voters office also cancels inactive voters who have not participated in two consecutive federal general elections, pursuant to California Elections Code 2226.
    • Notification from a family member, including the name, address and date of death of the deceased.
  • How do I notify the Registrar of Voters office of a deceased voter?
  • Mail or fax a letter to the Registrar of Voters office with the following information:
    • Name of the voter
    • The residential address of the voter
    • Birthdate of the voter
    • The relationship of the person notifying the office to the voter
    • Date of death of the voter
    • Signature of the person notifying the office

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