Bill of Rights

Your Right To Vote Is Important To Us!

The Elections Office Created This Information To Explain The Election Process And Your Rights As A Voter.

You may vote in a scheduled election if you are a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old by the time of the election, not currently in prison or on parole for a felony conviction, live within the boundaries of the district conducting the election and give us a completed voter registration card at least 15 days before the scheduled election. There are a few exceptions to these rules, so contact the Elections Office for details.

State law no longer requires that a voter vote in every election in order to stay registered. If none of the candidates interest a voter by Election Day, that voter can skip the election and will not be penalized.

Whether you are sick, out of town or just like the convenience of voting from home, all California voters now have the option of voting by vote by mail ballot. Your written request must be received at least one week before the election in order to allow us enough time to process and mail your request. For best results, use the application on the back of your Sample Ballot booklet. You may also become a permanent vote by mail voter simply by completing the application that comes with your Sample Ballot (meaning your ballot will always be mailed to you and you will not have to go to the polls on Election Day).

Mistakes happen. If you make a mistake when voting your official ballot, you may return your spoiled ballot and receive a new ballot from a polling place worker (or from the Elections Office if voting by vote by mail ballot). State law allows the Elections Office to replace two spoiled ballots per voter per election.

Don't know all the candidates for the local school board? Not sure how to vote on a state proposition? If your ballot has multiple issues, you are not required to vote on every contest. Blank sections on your ballot will not affect any of the other votes you have cast.

Can't find out how a candidate stands on an issue? The Elections Office requests each local candidate to provide at least one public telephone number so you may have your questions answered.

Counting ballots is a public process. Seven days prior to Election Day, the Elections Office begins the process of opening and preparing the vote by mail ballots to be included in Election Night totals. For years we have invited the public to come to the Elections Office to observe Election Night activities. Voters are also allowed to watch what goes on at the polling places on Election Day. For rules on how to be an Election Night or polling place observer, please contact the Elections Office.

The Election Canvass process is an internal audit and is required by state law to ensure the accuracy of election results. California Election law allows 30 days for the conduct of the official Canvass of final election results. Canvass must start by the Thursday following Election Day. All aspects of the Canvass are open to public inspection. During the Canvass, vote by mail and provisionally cast ballots not counted on Election Night are researched to validate eligibility, write-in votes are tallied, the number of ballots cast is balanced against the number of ballots issued and a hand count of 1% of all ballots cast in each race is performed to verify the machine count.

At each November election Stanislaus County has over 200 local offices up for election. As many as 50 of those seats may be vacant each election due to lack of candidates filing for the positions. Someone has to fill the office — why not you? If you are a registered voter and live in a district going to election, you are most likely eligible to hold that office.

Ready to get involved but are not sure how to start? Each year, the Elections Office prepares a Candidate Guide full of helpful information. Occasionally, civic groups or local media hold workshops to assist potential candidates.


Disclaimer: The information contained in these pages was valid at the time of publication. The County Clerk / Recorder / Registrar of Voters reserves the right to modify, update, change or make improvements at any time, without notice, and assumes no liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies.