Note that starting in 2020 you no longer need to put postage on your Vote-by-Mail ballot. You can request a vote-by-mail ballot for a one-time absence, or you can register for permanent vote-by-mail.
November 2020 election: ALL California voters will receive their BALLOT IN THE MAIL!
General Election Information
The Ventura County Elections website offers great information pertaining to elections and voting in California.
- Voter Registration Info - Voter registration eligibility, Process to registering, Deadlines, Re-registration
- Pre-Register to Vote - Online pre-registration is now available for eligible 16 and 17 year olds;these pre-registrants will have their registration become active once they turn 18 years old.
- Military & Overseas Voters - Find out more about absentee ballots for military and overseas voters.
- Vote By Mail - Interested in mailing in your ballot? Find more info and the application here!
- Upcoming Elections Calendar
- Have You Moved? - Read more about what to do after moving residences and voting in California.
Note: Each person who registers to vote is sent a Voter Notification Card. If you do not receive such a card within three weeks of registering, contact the Elections Division, or call the Registrar of Voters (805-654-2781 for Ventura County) and ask if you are registered, or check online HERE.
Frequently Asked Questions
What information must I provide when registering to vote?
- Full name--First, Middle, Last
- Complete residence address, not a post office box. (If there is no street address you may describe where you live.)
- The address where you get your mail, if different from your residence addres. This may be a post office box
- Your California drivers' license number or identification card number is mandatory if you have one. Otherwise, provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN)
- The name of the U.S. state or the foreign country where you were born
- Your political party preference - you may check "decline to state" if you wish.
- In which language you prefer to receive election materials
- The address at which you were last registered to vote (if any)
- Your signature and the date you signed the form. By signing the form you certify that the information is truthful and correct under penalty of perjury. If you are unable to write your name you may make a mark or a cross.
Someone else may fill out the form for you. That person must sign and date the form below your mark. Mail form directly after signing. You may also choose to provide any of the following information: Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms. Your telephone number. Your email address. These become a public record. You may also choose to become a permanent absentee voter and receive a ballot in the mail for all elections in which you are eligible to vote.
Does it cost to register to vote?
No. Registration is free.
When can I register to vote?
You may register at any time, but you must register at least 15 days before the first election in which you want to vote, unless the election allows same-day registration. Check the Upcoming Elections Calendar for exact deadline dates.
Where is my residence?
The place where you physically reside: If you are a college student living away from home you may register at you college residence address (on or off campus), or at your permanent home address, but only at one of these places. If you own more than one residence you must decide which one is your "domicile" and register and vote at only one place. If you are homeless you may register as long as you maintain a fixed location where you can receive mail and at which you can be assigned to a precinct.
Must I declare a party affiliation?
No. However, if you have not declared a party affiliation, during a primary election your presidential vote is really a vote for the delegates to the party's nominating convention, and only registered voters of that party are counted.
How can I get a Vote-by-Mail (absentee) ballot?
NOTE: For the November 2020 election, due to Covid-19, ALL California voters will automatically receive a Vote-by-Mail ballot, whether requested or not, INSTEAD of a sample ballot.
Any registered voter may obtain an absentee ballot, by mail or in person, from the Elections Division; no justification is required. An application for an absentee ballot is included in the sample ballot that will be mailed to you before an election. Mailed requests for absentee ballots must be received in the office of the Elections Division no later than 5 p.m. one week before an election is held. During the week preceding an election, absentee ballots may be obtained in person from the Elections Division.
Note: Absentee ballots can be requested at any time prior to an election, but they are not mailed to voters until the close of registration (29 days before an election).
How do I contact the Elections Division?
The Elections Division is in the Administration Building, 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA 93009. Telephone toll-free at (805) 654-2781 or view their website.
When are elections held?
Most residents of Ventura County have the opportunity to vote in six types of elections, held according to a variety of schedules:
General elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years. Their purpose is to elect national, state, and some special-district and county officers and to decide local and state ballot issues.
Primary elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March (prior to 2020 this was June). Their purpose is to choose candidates who will run in general elections, to elect delegates to national party conventions, to elect party central committee members and to decide some local and state ballot issues. Note: A candidate for county or special-district office who receives a majority of the votes cast in a primary election is automatically elected and does not need to run in November.
Municipal elections coincide with general elections in all ten incorporated cities in Ventura County. The city of Ventura had their election in odd-numbered years until voters changed this in 2014.
School elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in both even and odd-numbered years.
Special-district elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in even and odd-numbered years.
Recall elections may be scheduled for any Tuesday of any month in any year.
What is a nonpartisan office, and which offices are nonpartisan?
A nonpartisan is an office for which candidates' names appear on the ballot without party designation. No party may nominate a candidate for nonpartisan office. Local offices such as most city council members, county supervisors, all judgeships, including the statewide office of member of the California Supreme Court, and all school boards, including the statewide offices of Superintendent of Public Instruction and Insurance Commissioner, are nonpartisan.
Are there nonpartisan primaries?
Yes. Some local nonpartisan primaries such as those for judges are usually held at the same times as the statewide regular primary in March. A candidate for a nonpartisan office who is on the March ballot is selected if he or she wins more than 50% of the vote. If not, there is a runoff election in November between the top two candidates.
Do all nonpartisan offices use primaries?
No. Some nonpartisan offices, such as most city councils and school boards, do not use primaries. Candidates run without party affiliation and the person with the most votes wins even if it is not a majority.
How can I find answers to other questions?
Contact your county's registrar of voters at (805) 654-2781 or use their website.