For most Californians, having a criminal history does not mean losing the right to vote. Take our quiz to find out if you are eligible to vote and read on to learn how to register.
Being in any of the following situations will not impact your right to vote:
- In local detention facility (jail):
- Serving a misdemeanor sentence
- Because jail time is a condition of probation
- Serving a felony jail sentence
- Awaiting trial
- On parole or probation
- On mandatory supervision
- On post-release community supervision
- On federal supervised release
- Having a juvenile wardship adjudication
Your criminal history will only impact your right to vote if you are currently serving a state or federal prison term for conviction of a felony.
How to register to vote
If you are eligible, you can register to vote or update your voter record at registertovote.ca.gov. You can also get a paper form at any voting site or library and most government offices.
The voter registration deadline is 15 days before Election Day. But this deadline is for online and mail applications. If you miss the deadline and want to vote in the next election, you can still do so in person at the City Hall Voting Center or a polling place.
Services for those involved in the justice system
We work with Prisoner Legal Services to help San Franciscans involved in the justice system vote. Some of the services we provide include:
- Helping people determine whether they are eligible to vote
- Delivering ballots and other official materials to voters in jail
- Helping people register to vote upon release from prison
Contact Prisoner Legal Services at 415-558-2472 if you would like to learn more.
Department of Elections1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
City Hall, Room 48
San Francisco, CA 94102
Last updated April 17, 2023