Frequently Asked Questions
Questions About Voter Registration
You may register to vote if you meet ALL of the following criteria:
- A United States citizen and a resident of California
- 18 years old or older as of the day of the next election
- Not currently serving a state or federal prison term for the conviction of a felony, and
- Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court
You may register or re-register to vote at any time. You should re-register when there is a change to your residence or mailing address. You should register 15 days prior to an election. After the 15-day close of voter registration day, you must come in-person to register.
You may register to vote:
- Visit https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration to register online.
- Call our office at 209-525-5200, 209-525-5230 for Spanish language assistance, or 209-525-5245 (Telephone Device for Deaf, TDD) so we can mail you a registration form.
Registration forms are also available by calling the California Secretary of State's office at 1-800-345-VOTE.
- Visit our office at 1021 “I” Street, Suite 101, Modesto, CA 95354 to complete a voter registration form.
A person must register to vote at his or her place of residence, where you live. You may register to vote at your business if you live at that address. You may use a P.O. Box or any other address as your mailing address, separate from your residence address.
When you move, change your name or wish to change your political party affiliation. 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.
If you were previously registered within Stanislaus County and moved within the County's borders, you can update your address at any voting location in Stanislaus County, and receive and vote the correct ballot based on your new residence address.
If you moved into Stanislaus County after the close of registration (15 days before Election Day), you can register and vote in person using Conditional Voter Registration. This option is available at all voting locations as well as the Elections Office located at 1021 “I” Street, Suite 101, in downtown Modesto.
If you moved out of Stanislaus County, you will need to contact your new county's Registrar of Voters for more information. Visit the Secretary of State's website for information about other California counties.
No. You are registered to vote as long as you remain at the same address and you should continue to receive election materials in the mail. However, if you have moved and the elections office has received undeliverable mail you may be sent a notice requesting that you confirm or update your address information.
Information on voter registration cards will be used by elections officials to send voters official information on the voting process, such as voting location information and the issues and candidates that will appear on the ballot. Commercial use of voter registration information is prohibited by law and is a misdemeanor. Voter information may be provided to a candidate for office, a ballot measure committee, or other persons for election, scholarly, journalistic, political, or governmental purposes, as determined by the Secretary of State. Driver’s license and Social Security numbers, or your signature as shown on your voter registration card, are confidential and cannot be released for these purposes. If you have any questions about the use of voter information or wish to report suspected misuse of such information, please contact the Secretary of State’s Voter Protection and Assistance Hotline.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, you may be able to qualify as a confidential voter. As a confidential voter, you can vote by mail and protect your voter registration information from campaigns, the media, and the public.
To apply for the Safe at Home program, please contact the Secretary of State office at (877) 322-5227 to enroll.
You can be declared a Confidential Voter By Order of Superior Court or Safe at Home Program. 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 a vote by mail 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.
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.
Exceptions: Confidential voter information is available to:
- Central Committees
- Authorized persons who use this information for election purposes or scholarly, journalistic (media), political or governmental uses
Yes. The voter registration deadline is 15 days prior to Election Day. After that deadline and through Election Day, new citizens can visit the Elections Office or any voting location to register in person by providing proof of citizenship and receive a ballot.
Yes. An ex-felon can register to vote and is eligible to vote in elections if he or she is not currently serving a federal or state prison term for the conviction of a felony, whether the time is being served in federal prison, state prison or a county correctional facility. The ex-felon must meet the other requirements for a California voter: U.S. citizen, California resident, 18 years old or older on Election Day.
Since 1993, the National Voter Registration Act, often known as the Motor Voter law, has helped millions of people register to vote or update their voter information during a driver license or ID card transaction at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Eligible applicants completing a driver license, identification (ID) card or change of address transaction online, by mail or in person at the DMV will be automatically registered to vote by the California Secretary of State, unless they choose to opt out of automatic voter registration.
The California Motor Voter program applies to Californians who are 18 or older and meet the following criteria:
- A United States citizen and a resident of California.
- Not currently serving a state or federal prison term for the conviction of a felony
- Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court.
Individuals with AB 60 driver's licenses are not eligible to participate in the California Motor Voter program and are not eligible to vote.
If you indicate that you are eligible to vote, once you complete your DMV transaction online, by mail, or in person, your voter information is transmitted securely and electronically to the California Secretary of State. Once your eligibility to vote is determined, you will be 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.
Yes. California State Statutes require that lists of registered voters be provided to the Jury Commissioner to be used for jury duty selection.
About Vote By Mail Ballots
Nearly 79% of Stanislaus County's voters are registered to vote by mail. Per California Election Code, ballots are mailed 29 days before Election Day. Voters are encouraged to return their voted ballots early so they can be processed and included in early results. Per California Election Code, elections officials may begin counting eligible ballots as early as 15 days before Election Day and have until 30 days after Election Day to complete the process.
- SAFE AND SECURE: Every voter signature is checked, and managers conduct double-checks. If you didn't sign the envelope or the handwriting doesn't closely resemble what's in your voter file, we send you a form to correct it. When the form is returned, the challenged ballot will be counted.
- CONVENIENT: Postage is pre-paid! You can also mark the ballot when and where it's easiest for you. You won't have to find a voting location or wait in line.
- CONFIDENTIAL: High-speed opening machines separate voted ballots from envelopes. No one knows how you voted.
- TRACKING: Visit www.stanvote.com to learn how you can track your ballot.
Questions About Voters With Disabilities
It is our goal to have accessible voting locations for all voters. Locations are surveyed for accessibility per the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations. We provide the following services to voters with disabilities:
- Accessible voting locations
- Wheelchair accessible voting booths at voting locations
- Assistance form trained staff and volunteers at voting locations
- Touch Writer – Accessibility voting device at voting locations
- Remote Access Vote By Mail
- For TTY service, call 711.
Questions About Running For Office
Candidate qualifications and filing requirements are specific for each elected office. For general information regarding candidate qualifications, filing requirements, filing periods, campaign statement/financial disclosure reporting, ask for Candidate Services at 209-525-5200 or 209-525-5230 for Spanish language assistance.
Find My Districts
Contact the Elections Office at 209-525-5200 or 209-525-5230 for Spanish language assistance or visit Voter's Edge
Disclaimer: The information contained in these pages was valid at the time of publication. The County Clerk / Recorder / Registrar of Voters reserves the right to modify, update, change or make improvements at any time, without notice, and assumes no liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies.