California Ex-Offender Voting Rights

In all states, it's a felony to vote if your voting rights are currently revoked. If you are uncertain about your status from the information provided on this page, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for more information.

Misdemeanor convictions in California

You do not lose your right to vote if you are convicted of a misdemeanor in California. If you are incarcerated for a misdemeanor you should check voter registration status, register to vote if necessary, and request an absentee ballot from your county elections office.

You can vote while awaiting trial for any charge, even if incarcerated, as long as you have not lost your right to vote due to a prior conviction.

Felony convictions in California

You lose your right to vote if you are convicted of a felony, with the exception of serving a felony jail sentence. You can't vote while incarcerated in prison (for a felony sentence or parole violation), or while on parole. Your right to vote is automatically restored once you complete your sentence or are on post-release community supervision, mandatory supervision, federal supervision, or probation. You can vote if you are currently incarcerated serving a felony jail sentence, and were not sentenced to prison time.

Next steps for restoring voting rights in California

If your sentence is completed, including parole, you may register to vote and cast a ballot.

 

Helpful U.S. Vote Foundation Resources

Click here for help with: 

  • Registering to vote

  • Requesting an absentee ballot

  • Requesting a mail-in ballot

Click here for help with finding your Election Official.