When is the deadline to register to vote for the 2018 General Election?
October 22 is the deadline to register to vote and have your ballot submitted for tabulation.
After this date, you may visit your county elections office, a vote center, or a satellite office designated by your county elections official during the 14 days prior to, and including Election Day to conditionally register to vote and vote a provisional ballot. This process is called Conditional Voter Registration.
Once you register, you may vote in all state and local elections. You will not need to register to vote again unless you change your name or change your political party preference. If you move, you can update your California residence address by re-registering online or by submitting a paper voter registration application.
You can also send a signed letter to your current county elections official, informing them of your move and providing them with your date of birth and current address, even if it is in a different county. However, if you have already updated your residence address at the Department of Motor Vehicles or the U.S. Postal Service, your registration will be automatically updated with your new address.
How do you register to vote by the deadline?
- Go to online voter registration to complete an application, or
- Pick up a paper voter registration application at the SacCountyGOP Headquarters, or any Department of Motor Vehicles field office, and many post offices, public libraries, and government offices. You may also request one from your county elections office. To receive a voter registration application by mail from the Secretary of State, call the toll-free Voter Hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683).
How do I check my Sacramento County voter registration status?
You can check to see if you are registered to vote and view your County Voter Information Guide online.
To check your voter registration status in Sacramento County and view your County Voter Information Guide, complete the fields and submit your information at this link.
If you have moved within Sacramento County, changed your name or political party, you need to re-register.
It may take several days to process your registration. If you recently registered or re-registered please check again at a later date to confirm you are registered.
Voting material mailings begin 29 days before the election. To ensure your voting materials are delivered timely and accurately, register early!
Who may register and vote after the deadline?
State law allows some people to register and vote even when they will not be eligible until after the voter registration deadline.
If you will become a U.S. citizen less than 15 days before the next election, you may still be able to register and vote. To do this, you must visit your county elections office any time before the polls close on Election Day. You must bring proof that you are a U.S. citizen and sign a form saying you are eligible to vote in California. For more information, please refer to A New Citizen’s Guide to Voting (PDF). Contact your county elections office for more information
New state residents
If you meet all the other requirements to vote in California but become a California resident less than 15 days before the next election, you may still be able to register and vote. To do this, you must visit your county elections office at least seven days before Election Day. You will be required to sign an oath saying you are eligible to vote in California and have not voted in the same election in any other state. Then you may vote only for President and Vice President. Contact your county elections office for more information.
Citizens who conditionally register to vote
After a voter registration deadline has passed, in most elections, you can visit your county elections office, a vote center, or a satellite office designated by your county elections official to conditionally register to vote and vote a provisional ballot. Once your county elections official processes your affidavit of registration, determines your eligibility to register, and validates your information, your registration becomes permanent and your provisional ballot will be counted. For more information, please refer to Conditional Voter Registration.
What are the options for submitting my ballot in Sacramento County?
- By Mail: Place the voted ballot inside the envelope provided, sign the envelope and return with $0.71 postage.
- Vote Center: With the passage of the California Voter’s Choice Act, traditional polling places will be replaced with Vote Centers that are open for up to 11 days, including Election Day. This means voters can choose when, where and how they want to vote. For a list of locations, please select from the following:
- Drop Box: Beginning October 8, 2018 voted ballots may be placed in any of the 53 secure Drop Box locations throughout Sacramento County. A complete list of locations can be found online at and will be provided in the Sacramento County Voter Information Guide that will be mailed out prior to the election.
- Accessible Vote By Mail System: Voters with disabilities can download and mark their ballot from the convenience of their home and then return it by mail.
Can you write-in a candidate in the General Election?
No. All candidates, including candidates who would have used the former independent nomination process, are allowed to run for a voter-nominated office in a primary election. All primary candidates for an office are listed on a single ballot, and only the two candidates who get the most votes in the primary election will move on to the general election.
Write-in candidates for voter-nominated offices can still run in the primary election. However, a write-in candidate can only move on to the general election if the candidate is one of the top two vote-getters in the primary election.
Candidates running for the office of U.S. President, however, can run in the general election as either a Presidential Elector using the independent nomination process or a Presidential Elector write-in candidate.