Frequently Asked Questions

 

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QUESTIONS ABOUT REGISTRATION

QUESTIONS ABOUT VOTE BY MAIL

QUESTIONS ABOUT PRECINCT OPERATIONS

QUESTIONS ABOUT CAMPAIGN SERVICES

TOP TWO CANDIDATES OPEN PRIMARY ACT

FAQ's FOR REGISTRATION  

Who may register to vote?

You must meet the following criteria to register:

  • You are a United States Citizen
  • You are a resident of California
  • You are a least 18 years of age on or before the next election
  • You are not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction
  • You have not been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent to register to vote

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How do I register to vote?

  • You must fill out a voter registration card; be sure to sign it and mail it in.

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How can I get a form to register to vote?

  • By Mail: Mail in registration forms are available at most government offices, public libraries, post offices, and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • By Phone: Call the Voter Registration and Elections office at (916)875-6451 or (800)762-8019.
  • By Internet: The California Secretary of State offers an online Voter Registration Form and downloadable forms that are also available in Spanish. (www.sos.ca.gov)
  • In Person: Go to Sacramento County’s Voter Registration and Elections Office located at 7000 65th St, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95823

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May I register to vote at my business address or may I use my PO Box Number? 

  • No. A person may only register to vote at his or her place of residence. A business address or PO Box may only be used for mailing purposes.

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What if my name, address, or political party affiliation changes? 

  • You must re-register any time you move, change your name, or wish to change your political party. Your voter registration should have your current residence address to ensure that you receive the correct ballot material regarding candidates and measures.

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What if I forgot to put all the required information on the registration card?

  • Our office will send you a letter requesting you provide the required information. You will not be registered to vote until the information is received.

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Is identification required to register? 

  • The Help America Vote Act (HAVA), enacted by Congress in October of 2002, states that individuals registering to vote for the first time in the state/jurisdiction must provide either a valid California driver's license or state ID card number. Applicants who do not have either can provide the last four digits of their Social Security number. If the voter provides a driver’s license or state ID number when he/she registers to vote, and the number can be matched to a state record, then the voter will not be required to show ID when he/she votes.

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How do I know that I am registered to vote?

  • A voter notification card will be mailed advising you that you are registered to vote. If you do not receive this card within 4-5 weeks after you have registered please contact our office at (916) 875-6451. You can also check the following link: Voter Registration Lookup

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I registered at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), why am I not registered?

  • The DMV form has a check box for voters who wish to register. After checking this box, the voter must still complete the voter registration form in order to become a registered voter. If you feel both of these steps were completed, please contact our office at 916-875-6451.

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Why is DMV involved in voter registration?

  • The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 permits persons conducting business at a DMV office to register to vote or update voter registration information.

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What if I just moved and did not re-register? Will I be eligible to vote?

  • If you were previously registered in Sacramento County and have moved within the county’s borders, you can vote a provisional ballot at your new polling place.

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If I re-register to vote, does it change my permanent Vote by Mail status?

  • No. If you would like to change your permanent Vote by Mail status, you must notify the Elections Office.

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I did not vote in the last election. Do I need to re-register?

  • No. You are registered to vote as long as you remain at the same address and have voted within the last 4 years. You should continue to receive election material in the mail.

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I became a new citizen after the registration deadline. Can I still register to vote?

  • Yes. Persons who become citizens after the close of registration may only vote in the Election Office between the 14th and 7th day before an election. New Citizens must present a Certificate of Naturalization and declare that they have established residence in Sacramento County.

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May I sign a petition if I am not registered to vote?

  • No. You must be a registered voter in order for your signature to be valid on a petition.

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Do you ever remove my name from the voter registration file?

  • Yes. If you move to a different address or have not voted in the last 4 years, you may be sent a notice requesting that you either confirm that you have not moved or provide a current residence address. Your registration may be cancelled for failure to respond to the notice or if you do not vote in any elections for 4 years after you receive the notice.

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Is it true that voter registration lists are used to select citizens for jury duty?

  • Yes. Jury summons are pulled from the voter registration files and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records.

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I no longer want to be a registered voter in Sacramento County. How do I remove my name from the active voter list?

  • To cancel your own voter registration, our office requires a written statement that you no longer want to be registered in Sacramento County along with your name, address, birth date and signature. You may send it to the voter registration office by mail or fax it to 916-876-5597.

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How do I notify the voter registration office that another voter needs to be cancelled? 

  • If a voter has passed away, immediate family members can call our office to request that we cancel the voter’s registration. All others need to send in a written request to cancel the deceased voter’s registration.
  • If you believe a voter no longer lives in Sacramento County, please provide their name and prior address in the county as well as their new address if known. Staff will attempt to contact the voter to verify their new address and registration status.

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FAQ's FOR VOTE BY MAIL  

When can I apply for a Vote by Mail ballot?

  • You can apply as early as 60 days prior to an election. Except for overseas ballots, Vote by Mail ballots are mailed to applicants beginning 29 days prior to an election. The last day to request a Vote by Mail ballot be mailed to you is seven days prior to an election.

    During the final 6 days prior to an election, if you become ill, disabled or find that you will be away from your polling place on Election Day; you may vote an emergency Vote by Mail ballot. You can vote in person at the Voter Registration and Elections office or have another authorized person pick up your ballot with a written/signed request for a Vote by Mail ballot.

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How can I apply for a Vote by Mail ballot? 

  • Complete the Vote by Mail ballot application that is located on the back cover of your Sample Ballot Booklet and mail or fax to our office. Mailing address: 7000 65th Street, Suite A, Sacramento CA 95823; FAX number (916) 876-5597
  • Mail or fax a signed letter requesting a Vote by Mail ballot to our office. Your request must include: the election for which you are requesting a ballot, your name, residence address, mailing address if different and your signature.
  • You may apply online or by phone at (916) 875-6155

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What if I have not received my Vote by Mail ballot?

  • If you are a permanent Vote by Mail voter and have not received your ballot two weeks before the election, please call our office to request a replacement ballot.

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How can I find the status of my Vote by Mail ballot?

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I spoiled/damaged/misplaced my ballot. Can I get another one?

  • Yes, please call our office at (916) 875-6155 and we will mail you a replacement ballot.  By law, you can receive a total of 2 replacement ballots.

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I am a U.S. citizen living temporarily (military service, employment or study program) outside the United States. Am I eligible to vote?

  • Yes, you must complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and return it to our office. You may obtain an application from any Registrar of Voters office, Voting Assistance office of any military base, any American Embassy or Consulate or via the web at: http://fvap.gov/. You must notify our office of any changes in your mailing address.

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When are overseas ballots mailed?

  • Overseas ballots can be mailed 60 days prior to the date of the election. If you are an overseas voter and have not received your ballot by 4 weeks before the election, please contact our office for a replacement. You may contact us by phone (916) 875-6155, fax (916) 876-5597, or email: militaryandoverseas@saccounty.net.

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When is the last day to return my Vote by Mail ballot?

  • A new law allows Vote by Mail ballots to be accepted if they are POSTMARKED on or before Election Day and delivered to the Elections Office by the USPS or "other mail" carrier, no later than three days after the election.  You may drop your ballot off at any polling place in Sacramento County or in our office at 7000 65th Street, Suite A, Sacramento CA 95823.

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I am disabled and must vote by mail. Do I have to apply for a Vote by Mail ballot for each election?

  • No, once you have applied for Permanent Vote by Mail status, you will no longer have to apply for each election. A ballot will automatically be mailed to you.

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If I request a Vote by Mail ballot, can I change my mind and still vote at a polling place?

  • Yes, please take your Vote by Mail ballot to the polling place and surrender it to the Precinct Officers before voting a regular precinct ballot. If you do not have your ballot to surrender, you will be allowed to cast a “provisional” ballot at the polling place. Your provisional ballot will be counted after the election official confirms that you did not previously vote using a Vote by Mail ballot for that election.

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My son/daughter is away at school. Can I pick up their Vote by Mail ballot?

  • You may pick up their ballot with a signed request from your son or daughter authorizing you to do so.

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I lost my envelope for my Vote by Mail ballot, how can I send in my ballot?

  • Please use a plain envelope and write the following: your name, residence address, signature and “I declare under penalty of perjury that: I am a resident of the precinct in Sacramento County, California, from which I am voting; I am the person whose name appears on this envelope; I have not applied for and do not intend to apply for a Vote by Mail ballot from any other jurisdiction for this election.”

    Place your voted ballot in the envelope with your information and place in a separate outgoing envelope addressed to our office: 7000 65th Street, Suite A, Sacramento CA 95823.

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How do I remove my name from the Permanent Vote by Mail list?

  • You may remove your permanent Vote by Mail status by calling, emailing or faxing our office. Please provide your name, address, date of birth and a statement that you are requesting to be removed from the Permanent Vote by Mail list.

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FAQ’s FOR PRECINCT OPERATIONS 

Where is my polling place?

  • You can find your polling place at the following link: Polling place lookup. The SACVOTE app, available for download to mobile devices, also provides polling location information.

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Why was my precinct/polling place changed?

  • County of Sacramento attempts to use the same polling place for each countywide election so your polling place normally does not change. On some occasions, the polling place is not available for use in the election and another site must be used.

    You can find the name and address of your polling place on the back cover of your sample ballot, by calling (916) 875-6100, or by going to http://pollingplacelookupen.saccounty.net/comingsoon.htm or with the SACVOTE mobile app.

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Why am I in a mail ballot (Vote by Mail) precinct?

  • Your voting precinct has less than 250 registered voters. It has been designated as a mail ballot precinct. This means you will be receiving your ballot in the mail. (EC 3005)

    If you are unable to mail your ballot, you can drop off your voted ballot at any polling place in the County of Sacramento by the close of the polls (8:00 pm) on Election Day. To determine the location of a nearby polling place, call (916) 875-6100 or use the Polling Place Map locator in theSACVOTE mobile app.

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What is a provisional ballot?

  • If your name is not on the list of registered voters at your designated polling place but you believe you are registered to vote, you may request a provisional ballot. The poll worker will give you the ballot you request and a special envelope. After voting, place your ballot in the provisional ballot envelope, and sign the outside of the provisional envelope. Your provisional ballot is counted after the elections office has confirmed that you are registered to vote, and that you did not already vote in that election. The precinct official can give you information about how to check to verify if your provisional ballot was counted.

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How do I become a election officer?

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How can I host a polling place?

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What are the clothing restrictions at polling places?

  • No person on Election Day shall, within 100 feet from the room within which the voting is taking place, wear buttons, badges, shirts or any item with a political statement or candidates’ names. Also, no newspaper radio or television can be on with political information at any polling place between the hours of 7am-8pm. EC 18370

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FAQ’s FOR CAMPAIGN SERVICES  

Who are my elected Representatives?

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How can I run for elected office?

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Where can I find a list of candidates for this election?

  • A list of candidates for the upcoming election is available on our website about two months prior to each election.

    Copies of the candidate list with contact information can be viewed or purchased in our office. Please call 916-875-6451 for more information.

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Where can I find past election results?

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How do I place a measure on the ballot?

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How do I recall an elected official?

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Sample Ballot Booklets
Online Sample ballot booklets are available 30 days before each election

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