Secretary of State's Voting Rights

Voting Rights

       Voting Rights for Californians

         with Criminal Convictions

        or Detained in Jail or Prison


Eligibility Requirements

You can register to vote and vote if you are:

  • A United States citizen and a resident of California
  • 18 years old or older on Election Day
  • Not currently serving a state or federal prison term for the conviction of a felony
  • Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court (for more information, please see Voting Rights: Persons Subject to Conservatorship).

Persons with a criminal history who
can register to vote:

  • In a county jail:
    • Serving a misdemeanor sentence (a misdemeanor never affects your right to vote)
    • Because jail time is a condition of probation (misdemeanor or felony)
    • Serving a felony jail sentence
    • Awaiting trial
  • On parole
  • On probation
  • On mandatory supervision
  • On post-release community supervision
  • On federal supervised release
  • A person with a juvenile wardship adjudication

Persons with a criminal history who
cannot register and vote

  • Currently serving a state or federal prison term for the conviction of a felony in:
    • State prison
    • Federal prison
    • County jail or an other correctional facility*

NOTE: Once you have finished serving your term, your right to vote is restored; however, you must register online at or by filling out a paper voter registration card.

*California Penal Code section 2910 allows the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to make agreements with local governments to house felons in a county jail or other correctional facility. A person serving a state prison sentence who is housed in a local jail or other facility under these circumstances is not allowed to register and vote.


For more information on how to vote and details on eligibility, please refer to the below link to access the Secretary of State's Voting Right's Guide for Incarcerated Persons and for those with criminal convictions.