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
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 by 15 days prior to the election.
You may register to vote:
- By mail: Mail-in registration forms are widely available at most County buildings, post offices, libraries, city halls, fire stations, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices and public assistance offices (CSA, WIC).
- By phone: call the registrar's office at 209-525-5200 or 209-525-5230 for Spanish language assistance; 209-525-5245 (Telephone Device for Deaf, TDD). Registration forms are also available by calling the California Secretary of State's office at 1-800-345-VOTE.
- In person: Go to the Stanislaus County Elections Office;
- At any City Clerk's office in the state or County or voter registration event anywhere in California;
- At the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): Fill out a voter registration form when applying for or renewing your driver's license or California State ID card;
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.
You may register to vote:
- 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 vote at the polling place for your new address. You should bring your California Driver's License or California State ID Card with your current address or TWO of the following forms of identification that include your name and current residence address:
- Mail addressed to the voter at current residence address
- Utility bill
- Credit card bill
- Military identification
- College or university fee card or student identification card
- Lease agreement
- Mortgage statement
- Property tax statement
- Income tax return
- Bank statement
- Preprinted check or bank deposit slip
- Vehicle registration
- Sworn statement from another voter in the precinct, stating that he or she knows and can identify the person who is attempting to vote and attesting to the name and residence address of the person attempting to vote. This sworn statement must be given in the presence of a poll worker at the polling place
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 move to a different address or have not voted in the last several elections, you may be sent a notice requesting that you confirm that you have not moved or provide current residence address information. Your registration may be canceled for failure to respond to an address confirmation mailing or if you have not voted at any elections between the date of the mailing and two consecutive federal general elections.
Information on voter registration cards will be used by elections officials to send voters official information on the voting process, such as the polling place location 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, 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 call the Secretary of State’s Voter Protection and Assistance Hotline.
Certain voters facing life-threatening situations may qualify for confidential voter status. For more information, please contact the Secretary of State’s Safe At Home program or visit the Secretary of State’s Web site. The next question also provides some information on confidential voters.
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. Persons who become citizens after the close of registration may only vote at the Elections Office between the 14th and 7th day before an election. New citizens must present a Certificate of Naturalization and declare that they have established residency in Stanislaus County.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No. The Jury Services Division requests a list of active and canceled voter files. Additionally, California State Statutes require that lists of licensed drivers, obtained from Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), also be made available to the Jury Commissioner. For additional information regarding voter registration, see Voter Registration on the Registrar of Voters website
Questions About Vote By Mail Ballots
Due to state legislation, all active registered voters in California will receive a vote by mail ballot for the Presidential General Election on November 3, 2020. Ballots will be mailed beginning October 5, 2020.
We encourage voters to vote the ballot received by mail as a safer option for voters and election workers during this pandemic.
Share this information: Vote By Mail Flier
Vote by Mail
77% of Stanislaus County residents already are registered to vote by mail, and all eligible ballots are counted. The first results on Election Night are from vote by mail ballots received before Election Day, with in-person votes released later. By law, all eligible votes must be counted by 30 days after the election.
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: Sign up for BallotTrax alerts at https://california.ballottrax.net/voter/ to track when your ballot is mailed and received by our office.
Questions About Voters With Disabilities
It is our goal to have 100% Satellite Office accessibility for all voters. In compliance with federal and state law, we provide the following services to voters with disabilities:
- Accessible Satellite Offices
- Wheelchair accessible voting booths at all Stanislaus County Satellite Offices
- Touch Writer Voting Accessibility
- For TTY service, call 711. Then call 209-525-5201 for English or 209-525-5230 for Spanish.
- Vote by mail voting
- Election Volunteer assistance at Satellite Offices
Questions About Running For Office
Candidate qualifications and filing requirements are specific for different elective offices. 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
Important Contact Numbers
Voter Registration/Sample Ballot Inquiries
To verify registration status or inquire about a sample ballot call:
209-525-5200 or 209-525-5230 for Spanish language assistance
711 for TTY Service
Vote by Mail Inquiries
To apply for one-time or permanent vote by mail status call: 209-525-5200
General information on election, registration and voting services call: 209-525-5200.
Bilingual Sample Ballot Translation
To receive a translated sample ballot booklet in Spanish, call: 209-525-5230.
To become an Election Volunteer call: 209-525-5233.
Registering to Vote
To register to vote during regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. call: 209-525-5200.
Candidate Nomination Procedures
For information regarding election dates, elected offices, qualifications for office, nomination filing dates and procedures call: 209-525-5200.
Clerk-Recorder & Registrar of Voters Donna Linder
1021 "I" Street,
Suite 101, Modesto, CA 95354
For additional information and services not addressed in our FAQ's, please see the Clerk-Recorder & Registrar of Voters Home Page on our website or call 209-525-5200, or 209-525-5230 for assistance in the Spanish language.
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.