Elections services for voters with specific needs
Information regarding voter registration and elections is available from the Santa Cruz County Elections Department. The office is located at 701 Ocean St, Room 310, Santa Cruz CA 95060. Citizens can contact the office for information by calling 831-454-2060 or online at www.votescount.com. The office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for holidays.
TDD Services for the Hearing Impaired
A telecommunications device (TDD) is available to take calls from any person who has a hearing impairment. TDD/TTY-call 711. Here are some helpful links on the Federal Communications Commission and Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program
- Be at least 18 years of age as of the day of the next election;
- Be a citizen of the United States;
- Be a resident of California;
- Not be in prison for the conviction of a felony;
- Not be deemed by an appropriate court to be mentally incompetent. (Elections Code §2000, 2112, 2201)
If you have moved, changed your name, or wish to change your political party affiliation, the deadline to register or re-register to vote is 15 days before the next election. Voters are, however, encouraged to register to vote by 29 days before the next election in order for election materials such as the County Voter Information Guide and State Voter Information Guide to be mailed to the voter. Persons who register after the 29th day before the election may not receive such materials. Late registrants will be mailed a postcard advising them where to vote.
If you missed the voter registration deadline, you can still register and vote - up to and including Election Day. This is called Conditional Voter Registration.
You must go to one of the following locations:
- Santa Cruz County Elections Department - 701 Ocean Street, Room 310, Santa Cruz
- Watsonville City Clerks Office - 275 Main Street, 4th floor, Watsonville
- UCSC Bay Tree Conference Center - this site will only be open for 4 days before the election on Saturday - Tuesday.
- Other locations may be added.
It’s a simple, two-step process:
- You fill out a paper or online voter registration form.
- You vote, seal your ballot in a special envelope, and sign the envelope.
Your vote will be counted after the county elections official verifes your voter registration and confirms that you have not already voted in this election. You have the right to confirm if your ballot was counted and, if not, why.
Ways to Register to Vote
To register online you will need
- Your California driver license or California identification card number,
- The last four digits of your social security number and
- Your date of birth.
Your information will be provided to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to retrieve a copy of your DMV signature.
If you do not have a California driver license or California identification card, you can still use this form to apply to register to vote by completing the online interview by 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time on the 15th calendar day before an election.
You may complete a Voter Registration Card at the Santa Cruz County Elections Office,701 Ocean St., Room 310 in Santa Cruz.
Voter Registration Cards are also available at many public locations in Santa Cruz County including U.S. Post Offices, public libraries, Department of Motor Vehicles offices, as well as many government offices.
You may request that a Voter Registration Card be mailed to you by calling the Santa Cruz County Clerk/Elections office at 831-454-2060 or 866-282-5900.
Registering with a Political Party
California law permits voters to register with one of the six qualified political parties: American Independent, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, Peace & Freedom, or Republican. You may also register without a political party preference or with any other unqualified political party. (If you select no party preference, you may not be able to vote for some parties' candidates at a primary election for the U.S. president or party committee.)
At the polling place
To check polling place accessibility, look for the wheelchair symbol on the back cover of your County Voter Information Guide which is mailed to every registered voter in the county approximately 4 weeks before the election.
In some polling places, temporary thresholds, ramps, signage, cones, and door props, are used to improve access to the facility.
If your polling place is not accessible, you may vote on a paper or an electronic ballot from a nearby accessible location, including a car. A poll worker will qualify you to vote and return the voted ballot to the polling place.
To request curbside voting assistance, you can:
- call in advance to coordinate a time and place
- have an assistant make the request inside the polling place.
Accessible voting system
Each polling place in the county has a touch screen voting system with:
- an audio option that reads the ballot to you
- a universal plug for personal assistive device large print (24 points)
- a choice of English or Spanish
A ride to your polling site
We can arrange to have an accessible van pick you up and take you to the polls to vote. Please call prior to Election Day to make an appointment.
Ballot delivery to your home
We can deliver a ballot to your home and return it to the Elections Department. Please call before Election Day so there will be enough time to provide assistance.
Audio versions of the information about local measures and information printed in the State Voter Guide are available on request. The recordings are available approximately four weeks before the election.
How to request assistance
To request any of these options or for assistance with accessible voting: please call our office at 831-454-2060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Voting by Mail
Any registered voter may apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. The County Voter Inforamtion Guide mailed to every voter approximately 29 days before the election contains a vote-by-mail application on the back cover. You may also apply online at www.votescount.com or mail a written request to the Santa Cruz County Elections Department, 701 Ocean St., Room 310, Santa Cruz CA 95060.
Permanent Vote-by-Mail Voting
Any voter may apply for permanent absentee voter status. For further information regarding this program, please call 831-454-2060, or write to the Santa Cruz County Elections Department.