New Citizens of the United States
California has a 15-day deadline to register to vote in any election. There may be different steps you take depending on when you became a new citizen of the United States.
To be eligible to vote in an election, you should submit your Voter Registration form no later than 15-days before the day of the election. You only need to register once, unless you move or change your name. If you miss the deadline to register to vote, you may still be eligible to register and vote under California’s Conditional Voter Registration rules.
I Live in Santa Clara County and Became a Citizen BEFORE California’s 15-Day Deadline to Register
You can register to vote online, by mail, or in person at the Registrar of Voters’ office. The sooner you become registered to vote, the earlier you will receive your voting materials for the next election. All registered voters in Santa Clara County are mailed a Vote by Mail ballot starting 29 days before each election.
I Live in Santa Clara County and Became a Citizen AFTER California’s 15-Day Deadline to Register
If you want to vote in the current election, you must register and vote in person. You can choose to register and vote at the Registrar of Voter’s main office on Berger Drive, or at any Vote Center in Santa Clara County. You can do this up to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, before the polls close. If you choose to register and vote at a Vote Center, you will be asked to vote a Conditional Voter’s ballot.
What you will need:
- Proof of New Citizenship and
- A completed Voter Registration form and
- Be prepared to Vote!
Helpful Hint! California’s ballot can be long, with many contests and measures. To be prepared, you can view your State and local County Voter Information Guides on the internet in advance.
Information for New Citizens is found in California Elections Code sections 3500 through 3503.