In order to vote in an election in the United States, you need to register to vote in advance. A potential voters must meet certain requirements.
- You are a U.S. citizen.
- You meet your state’s residency requirements.
- You are 18 years old. (Some states allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries and/or register to vote if they will be 18 before the general election. Check your state’s Voter Registration Age Requirements.)
How to register to vote
- Register Online: You can register online at vote.usa.gov. Select your state from the dropdown menu.
- Register by mail: You need to download the National Mail Voter Registration Form. After downloading the PDF form, you can fill it out onscreen and print the completed form, or print the blank form and fill it out by hand. Remember to sign the form before mailing it to the location listed for your state. You may need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the form.
- Register in person: You may be able to register to vote at public facilities. Check with your state or territory election office before heading to any of these locations (State or local voter registration and/or election offices, The department of motor vehicles, Armed services recruitment centers, State and county public assistance offices)
- USA.gov: Register to Vote
- U.S. Vote Foundation: State Election Dates & Deadlines
- California Secretary of State: California Online Voter Registration
California primary election date is June 7, 2016, and you need to register by May 23, 2016. General election date is November 8, 2016 and you need to register by October 24, 2016 in California.