Am I Eligible?

Can I vote while I am in county jail?

You CAN vote while in county jail if you are:

  • 18 years of age or older, and
  • a citizen of the United States, and
  • awaiting trial or on trial for any crime, or
  • in jail for a misdemeanor conviction, or
  • in jail on a probation violation, or
  • in jail on felony probation, or
  • serving a county jail sentence under Realignment (AB 109).

The only time you CANNOT vote while in county jail is when you are:

  • in jail awaiting transfer to a state or federal prison for a felony conviction, or
  • in jail for a parole violation, or
  • serving a state prison sentence under a contract with a county jail, or
  • currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court.

*If you are not sure of your custody status or what type of sentence you are serving, please check with your parole or probation officer or complete and submit an Inmate Message slip requesting the information.

In California, you always keep your right to vote unless you are currently serving a state or federal prison sentence.


How Do I Register From Jail?

Voting Procedure and Materials

Per the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) Title 15 Minimum Standards for Local Detention Facilities Article 6, Inmate Programs and Services §1071- Voting:

The facility administrator of a Type I (holding sentenced inmate workers) II, III or IV facility shall develop written policies and procedures whereby the county registrar of voters allows qualified voters to vote in local, state, and federal elections, pursuant to election codes.

You must register to vote at least 15 days before Election Day.

Please follow the steps listed below if you would like to vote:

  • Complete an Inmate Request form requesting information and materials by checking the "Voting Information" box.
  • The voting coordinator will contact you.
  • Fill out your Voter Registration Card and Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application. Include your booking number on each. Return both to the facility voting coordinator or their designee.
  • When you receive your ballot, mark your choices and return to the facility voting coordinator or their designee.
  • You can find out if your vote-by-mail ballot arrived at the county elections office, if your ballot was counted, and, if not, the reason why it was not counted by calling 800-815-2666.

The ACLU SoCal Jails Project will also have volunteers go inside the LA County jails to register individuals who are incarcerated to vote.


How Do I Register If I'm No Longer In Custody?

You must re-register to vote when you are released from custody. There are a few ways to re-/register to vote after your release:

  • You can register online at
  • You can pick up a paper registration form at the DMV, post office, public library, or your county elections office. Complete the form, sign it, and drop it in the mail.
  • You can call 800-345-VOTE (8683) and ask for a registration form to be mailed to you.

*If you requested a vote-by-mail ballot from jail but are released from custody before you receive your ballot, you can still vote. Just go to the polling place for your home address or any polling place in the county where you are registered and vote a provisional ballot.

Federal law requires that the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk provide translated election materials and bilingual support in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian/Khmer, and Tagalog/Filipino. LA County also provides support in Hindi, Japanese, Thai, Farsi, Armenian, and Russian. If you wish to receive your voting materials in a language in addition to English, please detail so on your Inmate Request form and Voter Registration Card.

If you are not a resident of Los Angeles County, you can still send a request for materials to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. The LA County Registrar-Recorder will ensure that the request is sent to the appropriate county elections office.




If you experience any problems requesting or obtaining voting materials, registering to vote or casting a ballot you should:

Contact the California Secretary of State Investigative Services.

California Secretary of State Investigative Services
1500 11th Street, 2nd Floor Sacramento, CA 95814
English: 916-657-2166 or 800-345-VOTE (8683)
Spanish: 800-232-VOTA (8682)

Contact the ACLU SoCal Jails Project.

ATTN: Jails Project 1313 W. 8th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017