Los County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
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Frequently Asked Questions
Questions About Voter Registration

Questions About Vote By Mail Ballots

Questions About Citizens Residing Outside the United States

Questions About Voting

Questions About Multilingual Services

Questions About Voters With Disabilities

Questions About Running For Office

Miscellaneous Information

Important Contact Numbers


Questions About Voter Registration ...top

Who can register to vote? ...top

You may register to vote if you meet ALL of the following criteria:

• A citizen of the United States
• A resident of California
• At least 18 years of age as of the day of the next election
• Not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony
• Not declared to be mentally incompetent by a court.

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When can I register to vote? ...top

There is no waiting period. You may register or re-register to vote at anytime. To be eligible to vote in an election, you must have registered 15 days prior to the election.

How can I get a form to register to vote? ...top

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 Vehicle (DMV) offices and public assistance offices (DPSS, WIC).

By phone: call the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Norwalk office at (562) 466-1310; (800) 481-VOTE; (562) 462-2259 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, TDD) or one of the following branch offices:

form image Beverly Hills (310) 288-1261
East Los Angeles (323) 260-2991
Florence/Firestone (323) 586-6192
Lancaster (661)
945-6446
LAX Airport (310) 727-6142
Van Nuys (818) 376-3777

Forms are also available by calling the Secretary of State’s office at 1-800-345-VOTE.

In person: At the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Norwalk office or any of the above Registrar-Recorder/ County Clerk Branch Offices.

At any City Clerk's office in the state or voter registration event anywhere in California
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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

By Internet: Complete the on-line California Voter Registration Form on our website (www.lavote.net). You may also download the Federal Voter Registration Form from the Secretary of State’s website (www.sos.ca.gov). This is a PDF download and must be read with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Is identification required to register? ...top

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.
Otherwise…

  • If an individual registers by mail, has not previously voted in an election for federal office, and votes in person, the voter must show photo ID or a document that indicates both the voter's name and residence address.
  • If an individual registers by mail, has not previously voted in an election for federal office, and votes by mail, the voter must submit a copy of a photo ID or a document with both the voter's name and residence address.

May I register to vote at my business address or may I use my P.O. Box number? ...top

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.

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

Fill out and submit a new voter registration form with your new information. 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.

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

If you were previously registered in Los Angeles County and have not re-registered since you moved within the County's borders, you can vote at the polling place for your new address. You will be asked to vote a provisional ballot and provide your new address and your previous address on the provisional ballot envelope.

I am a college student living on or around campus, away from home. Can I register with my college residence address? ...top

Like all eligible citizens, any college student may register to vote using his/her college residence address or may choose to use his/her family residence. California law (Elections Code Section 2025) allows college students to establish domicile or legal residence where they attend school if they so desire.

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

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 either confirm that you have not moved or provide current residence address information. Your registration may be cancelled for failure to respond to an address confirmation mailing or if you have not voted in any elections occurring between the date of the mailing and two consecutive federal general elections.

I would like to register and vote, but I am a public figure. Will my address be made public? ...top

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. 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.
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  • Any person granted confidentiality under these circumstances shall be considered an absentee 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.

Exceptions: Voter information is available to:

  • candidates
  • campaign committees
  • authorized persons using this information for election, scholarly, journalistic, political or governmental purposes.
I became a "new citizen" after the registration deadline. Can I still register and vote? ...top

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Yes. Persons who become citizens after the close of registration may only vote at the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office between the 15th day and the 7th day before an election. New citizens must present a Certificate of Naturalization and declare that they have established residence in Los Angeles County.

Can an ex-felon register to vote and be eligible to vote? ...top

Yes. An ex-felon may register to vote and is eligible to vote in elections if he/she is not currently in prison or on parole for a felony conviction.

I registered at a Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) office. Why does the County say I'm not registered? ...top

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.

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Why is the DMV involved in voter registration? ...top

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.

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

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.

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

Yes. California State Statutes require that lists of registered voters be provided to the Jury Commissioner to be used for jury duty selection.

If I cancel my voter registration, can I be certain that I will not get a summons for jury duty? ...top

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No. The Jury Services Division requests a list of active and cancelled voter files. Additionally, California State Statute requires that lists of licensed drivers, obtained from Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), also be made available to the Jury Commissioner. For additional information regarding Jury Summons call (213) 974-5332 or 5333, or visit the Los Angeles County Jury Services website at http://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/jury/.

For additional information regarding voter registration, see ‘Voter Registration’ on the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk website: www.lavote.net.

Questions About Absentee Ballots ...top

How can I vote an absentee ballot?...top

Rather than going to the polling place to cast a ballot on Election Day, you may request an absentee ballot. Any registered voter may apply for an absentee ballot. Applying is easy. Simply select one of the following options:

  • By Mail (1): Complete the absentee ballot application that is on the back cover of the sample ballot (sent to you prior to each election) and mail to County Elections Office.
  • By Mail (2): Send a signed letter requesting absent voter status to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Document Receipt Section at P.O. Box 30450, Los Angeles, Ca. 90030-0450.
  • By Fax: The fax numbers for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Document Receipt Section are (562) 462-2354 or (562) 462-3035.
  • By Internet: Download and complete an absentee ballot application from our website main page (www.lavote.net), under the ‘Absentee Voting’ section. Further information can be obtained by calling the Absent Voter Section at (562) 466-1323.

If you apply in writing or by fax, your request must include your name, your residence/home address, the mailing address where you want your absentee ballot to be sent and the name and the date of the election for which you are applying. Remember to sign and date your request!

When can I apply for an absentee ballot? ...top

You may request an absentee ballot:

As early as 60 days prior to an election. Except for overseas ballots, absentee ballots are mailed to applicants beginning on the first legal day to mail, which is 29 days prior to an election. The elections official cannot accept any mail applications less than 7 days (6 or less 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 absentee ballot. You can vote in person at the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office or send in a written/signed request for an absentee ballot authorizing another person to bring you the ballot and return it to the elections office or any polling place after you have voted.

When is the first day to apply for an absentee ballot? ...top

Sixty (60) days prior to an election is the first day to submit an application. Mailing absentee ballots begins 29 days prior to the election.

When is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot application? ...top

Seven (7) days prior to the election is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot application. However, if you become ill, disabled or find that you will be away from your polling place on Election Day, 6 days prior to an election, you may vote an emergency absentee ballot. You can vote in person at the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office or send in a written and signed request authorizing another person to bring you the ballot and return it to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office or your polling place after you have voted.

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When is the last day to return my voted absentee ballot? ...top

Absentee ballots must be received by elections officials no later than the close of polls (8 p.m.) on Election Day. Postmarks are not acceptable in California.

How do I turn in my absentee ballot on Election Day? ...top
 
 

You may return it in person to any precinct polling place in Los Angeles County or to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. If, because of illness or physical disability, you are unable to return the ballot yourself, you may authorize, in writing, a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister or person residing in your household to return the ballot to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office or to any polling place within Los Angeles County by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Are there circumstances under which a voter can be required to vote an absentee ballot? ...top

Yes. If an election precinct has 250 or less registered voters on the 88th day prior to an election, that precinct may be declared a “vote by mail ballot” precinct by the elections official due to the unavailability of voting locations and pollworkers in small precincts. All voters in such designated precincts will automatically be sent absentee ballots for that election.

I am physically challenged/disabled and I must vote by mail. Do I have to apply for an absentee ballot for each election? ...top

No. You can apply for “Permanent Absent Voter” status. Once on file as a permanent absent voter, you will no longer have to apply for future elections. A ballot will automatically be mailed to you for each election. A spouse or other person who resides with you may also want to apply for permanent absent voter status. Once a voter receives permanent absent voter status, he/she will retain this status as long as he/she casts a ballot in all statewide elections.

For additional information on becoming a permanent absent voter, please refer to your sample ballot booklet or call the Absent Voting Section at (562) 466-1323.

absent voter

If I request an absentee ballot, can I change my mind and still vote at my polling place? ...top

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

I received an absentee ballot application from a political campaign. Is it legal to use? ...top

Yes. Individuals, organizations and groups may distribute absentee ballot applications. However, they must use the standard format as specified in the California Elections Code. Election officials are not responsible for absentee ballot applications mailed to these individuals or groups. To ensure your ballot is mailed to you in a timely manner, it is recommended that you fax, mail or bring your application directly to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

Questions About Citizens Residing Outside the United States ...top

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

Yes. To register and request an absentee ballot, complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). FPCA forms are available at any Registrar of Voters office, Voting Assistance Office of any military base or any American Embassy/Consulate office.

The form must be received by the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office on or before the deadline, 7 days prior to an election. However, if you are a registered voter, you have two request options:

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Submit a letter or note stating you are a United States citizen temporarily residing out of the country and wish to vote an absentee ballot. The letter/note should be addressed to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, Absent Voting Section, P. O. Box 30450, Los Angeles, CA 90030-0450, and should include your name, signature, Los Angeles County residence address, the address where the absentee ballot is to be sent, and the election for which the ballot is being requested.
2) Visit the overseas voters link on the Department’s website (www.lavote.net) to print, vote and mail a sample ballot.  Department staff will duplicate your ballot choices on an actual ballot card.

How early can I apply for an absentee ballot? ...top

Ninety (90) days prior to an election. If you are in a remote area or experience delays in the mail or if you would like to receive your ballot earlier, the law allows this office to send you a special absentee ballot (multi-page paper ballot facsimile).

Send letter addressed to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, Absent Voting Section, P. O. Box 30450, Los Angeles, CA 90030-0450, including your name, signature, residence address, the address where the absentee ballot is to be sent, the election for which the ballot is being requested, the reason for the request (e.g., untimely delivery of mail), stating that you want a special absentee ballot. A Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) may also be used for this purpose.

I am a United States citizen living permanently outside the United States. Am I eligible to vote? ...top

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Yes, for federal elections only (President, Vice-President, United States Senator or Representative in Congress). Your application will be valid through the next two regularly scheduled general elections. To register and request an absentee ballot, complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). FPCA forms are available at any Registrar of Voters office, Voting Assistance Office or any military base or any American Embassy/Consulate office

The form must be received by the Registrar of Voters office on or before the deadline, 7 days prior to an election. It is recommended that voters outside the United States apply as early as possible to ensure timely delivery and return of their ballot (must be received by 8:00 p.m. Election Day).

Questions About Voting ...top

Where do I go to vote/where is my polling place? ...top

Your polling place location is printed on the back cover of your sample ballot booklet. Please check the polling place address for each election because locations often change. Also, poll locations are available on our website (www.lavote.net) or by calling (800) 815-2666. You may also consider asking a neighbor since it is likely they are assigned to the same polling place.

What are the poll hours of operation? ...top

County election polling places are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. However, some local cities conducting separate municipal elections may close polls at 7:00 p.m. Voters should refer to their sample ballot booklet to verify the correct election poll hours.

Why has my polling place changed? ...top

In California, there are no permanent poll sites. Locations may change from election to election if a facility previously used is not available for a particular election. Changes to precinct boundaries may sometimes occur when precincts are consolidated or realigned, especially for local elections that are not statewide. Voters should refer to their sample ballot booklet to make sure they go to the correct polling place location.

What if my polling place is not open when I arrive election morning? ...top

Check the address on the back cover of your sample ballot booklet to make sure you have gone to the right location. Polling places often change between elections. If you are at the correct location, call the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office at (562) 466-1373 to report that the polling place is not open.

Can I take my sample ballot booklet or my own written voting choices into the voting booth? ...top

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Yes. It is recommended that you mark your voting choices in your sample ballot and take it to your poll location on Election Day to use as a reference. This will allow you to vote your ballot quickly. Remember to take your sample ballot out of the booth after you have completed voting.

If I do not know what to do when I get to the polling place, will someone help me? ...top

Yes. Ask the election pollworkers to help you with the voting process. Pollworkers cannot, however, help you in making decisions on your voting choices.

What form of identification is acceptable at the polls for voters whose status is new? ...top

STANDARDS FOR PROOF OF RESIDENCY WHEN PROOF IS REQUIRED BY HAVA

As indicated in FAQ #2, HAVA requires that certain voters are required to show proof of identity in order to vote.

The Secretary of State has adopted regulations, pursuant to Elections Code section 14310 (e), that specify what documents may be used to prove a voter’s ID. The Office of Administrative Law approved these emergency regulations on January 28, 2004.

(Click here for a link to Section 20107 of Article 7 of Chapter 1 of Division 7 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations.)

Important points to note include:

1. The regulations are required to be “liberally construed to permit voters and registrants to cast a regular ballot. Any doubt as to the sufficiency of proof or a document presented shall be resolved in favor of permitting the voter or new registrant to cast a regular ballot.”

2. Any voter who is required to provide ID but is either unable or unwilling to do so must be advised that he or she may vote a provisional ballot.

3. A voter can prove his or her identity with an original (or copy) of:

A. “A current and valid photo identification” --- This means “a document prepared by a third party in the ordinary course of business that includes the photograph and name” of the voter. These documents can include a:

  • Driver’s license or ID card of any state
  • Passport
  • Employee ID card
  • ID card provided by a business
  • Credit or debit card
  • Military ID card
  • Student ID card
  • Health club ID card
  • Insurance plan ID card

B. A voter can also provide proof of ID with the following documents that do not include a photo of the voter, if that document includes both the name and residence address of the voter. The document must be dated subsequent to the date of the last general election, unless the nature of the document is permanent.

  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check
  • Government paycheck
  • Document issued by a government agency
  • Sample ballot issued by a government agency
  • Voter notification card issued by a government agency
  • Public housing ID card issued by a public agency
  • Lease/rental statement or agreement issued by a government agency
  • Student ID card issued by a government agency
  • Tuition statement or bill issued by a government agency
  • Insurance plan card issued by a government agency
  • Discharge certificates, pardons, or other official documents issued to a voter by a governmental agency in connection with resolution of a criminal case, indictment, sentence, or other matter
  • Public transportation senior discount cards issued by a governmental agency
  • ID documents issued by government homeless shelters and other government temporary or transitional facilities
  • Drug prescription issued by a government doctor or other governmental health care provider
  • Property tax statement issued by a government agency
  • Vehicle registration or certificate of ownership issued by a government agency

Can I vote for someone whose name is not listed on the ballot? ...top

Yes, if the person is a qualified write-in candidate. Only votes for qualified write-in candidates will be counted. Ask election pollworkers or call the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk for a list of those candidates. They can also assist you with write-in voting procedures.

What are the qualified political parties?
...top

American Independent Party, Democratic Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party, Natural Law Party, Peace and Freedom Party and Republican Party. California law also permits you to register as a non-partisan voter (meaning that you are not affiliated with any of these parties). Pursuant to new law, non-partisan voters may or may not be allowed to vote for partisan candidates in Primary Elections depending on party-adopted rules. For additional information, see ‘Political Parties’ on our website at www.lavote.net.

Questions About Multilingual Services ...top

Is there oral assistance or written voting material available in languages other than English? ...top

Yes. In accordance with federal law and local ordinance, Los Angeles County provides voter registration information, election materials and oral assistance in six languages other than English (Chinese, Japanese,
 
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Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese). Voters who request election materials in one of these languages will be mailed a translated sample ballot for all Los Angeles County conducted elections.

Additionally, poll locations that have been identified as requiring oral language assistance are supplied with translated voting materials and staffed with bilingual speaking pollworkers whenever possible. Signs are posted in those poll locations identifying the minority language(s) spoken.

 
For additional information on multilingual services, to request an interpreter OR to request multilingual materials prior to an election call our Multilingual Assistance Hotline at (800) 481-8683 OR visit our website at www.lavote.net.

Questions About Voters With Disabilities ...top

I am disabled/physically challenged. What voting choices are available to me? ...top

It is our goal to have 100% polling place accessibility for all voters who seek independent voting options. In compliance with federal and state law, we provide the following services to voters with disabilities:

  • Accessible polling places. handicap sign The international symbol of access is used on the sample ballot booklet to identify accessible polling places.
  • Wheelchair accessible voting booths at all Los Angeles County polling places
  • Large type voting instructions and magnifying devices at polling places.
  • Large ball voting stylus for voters with grasping difficulties.
  • Curbside voting. Voters who cannot get inside the polling place because of architectural barriers or other limitations may request to vote “curbside” (outside of the poll location). A pollworker will bring a ballot and punching device outside and assist the voters in casting a ballot.
  • Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) for the hearing impaired. The TDD assistance number is (562) 462-2259.
  • Recorded cassette tapes with state and county ballot measures at city and county libraries, the Braille Institute and the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office in Norwalk.
  • Absentee and permanent absentee voting options.
  • Pollworker assistance at precinct polling places.
  • Blind and visually impaired voters were able to vote privately during the 3 weeks leading up to the November 7, 2000 Election using a Touchscreen Voting System with headset voice prompter devices! This program was expanded for the November 5, 2002 Election and will be continued for select future elections.

For additional information see ‘Services for Voters with Disabilities’ on the Registrar-Recorder/ County Clerk website: www.lavote.net.

Questions About Running For Office ...top

I would like to run for office. What are the qualifications and requirements? ...top

Candidate qualifications and filing requirements are specific for different elective offices. For general information regarding candidate qualifications, filing requirements, filing periods or campaign statement/financial disclosure reporting, call the Election Information Section at (562) 466-1310 or see ‘Candidate Registration & Qualification’ on our website.

Miscellaneous Information ...top

How can I find out my districts (congressional, legislative, supervisorial, etc.)? ...top

Contact the Election Information Section at (562) 466-1310 or click on ‘What Are My Districts?’ on our website homepage at www.lavote.net.

How do I get election results? ...top

Contact the Election Information Section at (562) 466-1310 or click on Election Results on our website homepage at www.lavote.net.

 

Important Contact Numbers ...top

Voter Registration/Sample Ballot Inquiries
(562) 466-1323
(562) 466-1310

Absentee/Vote by Mail Inquiries:
(562) 466-1323

Election Information
(562) 466-1310

Sample Ballot Translation
(800) 481-VOTE (8683)

Precinct Officers/Polls
(562) 466-1373

Candidate Nomination Procedures
(562) 466-1310

www.lavote.net

Dean C. Logan
Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
12400 Imperial Highway
Norwalk, Ca 90650


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