Voters involved in the justice system

You can register to vote if you have a criminal history as long as you meet eligibility requirements.

For most Californians, having a criminal history does not mean losing the right to vote. Take our quiz to find out if you are eligible to vote and read on to learn how to register. 

Being in any of the following situations will not impact your right to vote: 


  • In local detention facility (jail):
    • Serving a misdemeanor sentence
    • Because jail time is a condition of probation
    • Serving a felony jail sentence
    • Awaiting trial
  • On parole or probation
  • On mandatory supervision
  • On post-release community supervision
  • On federal supervised release
  • Having a juvenile wardship adjudication

Your criminal history will only impact your right to vote if you are currently serving a state or federal prison term for conviction of a felony.

How to register to vote

If you are eligible, you can register to vote or update your voter record at You can also get a paper form at any voting site or library and most government offices.

The voter registration deadline for the November 5 election is October 21. But this deadline is for online and mail applications. If you miss the deadline and want to vote in the next election, you can still do so in person at the City Hall Voting Center or a polling place. 

Services for those involved in the justice system

We work with Prisoner Legal Services to help San Franciscans involved in the justice system vote. Some of the services we provide include:

  • Helping people determine whether they are eligible to vote
  • Delivering ballots and other official materials to voters in jail
  • Helping people register to vote upon release from prison

Contact Prisoner Legal Services at 415-558-2472 if you would like to learn more.

Get help

Department of Elections

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
City Hall, Room 48
San Francisco, CA 94102


Fax: 415-554-7344
TTY: 415-554-4386

中文: 415-554-4367
Español: 415-554-4366
Filipino: 415-554-4310

Last updated April 3, 2024