What to know if you miss deadline to register to vote in March 5 primary election

Zach Fuentes Image
Wednesday, February 21, 2024
What to know if you miss deadline to register to vote for CA primary
The California primary election is on March 5, 2024 but if you miss the deadline to register to vote, you still have options.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- The California primary election is just around the corner and that means Tuesday at midnight is the deadline to register to vote.

But if you miss it, there are still options.

"People might think a primary election is not as important as a general election, but every election is important," said Shannon Bushey, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

VIDEO: Santa Clara Co. previews accessible voting centers for public ahead of March 5 primary election

Ahead of California's primary election, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters gave voters an inside look at what to expect this election season.

Statewide, general election turnout leaves much to be desired.

In 2022, only 51.5 percent of eligible Californians voted in the November election.

Bushey says the primaries have even more room for improvement.

"Look at four years ago in our last presidential primary election, where only 52 percent of our registered voters turned out and cast their ballot, so those 52 percent of people made the decision for 100 percent of the voters," Bushey said. "It's important to get out, there are local races, there are state races and federal races."

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Though the deadline to register to vote in the March 5 primary is Tuesday at midnight, in California there are still options if you miss it.

"We can do what they call conditional voter registration starting (Wednesday) through Election Day," Bushey said. "Any voter can come down to any of our 100 Plus vote centers, or they can come down to our office, and they fill out a conditional voter registration."

From there, people are given a ballot and can return it with a conditional voter registration envelope.

"We will take it back to our office, enter their information and then be able to count their ballot," Bushey said. "So it's not too late."

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If you head to the state website, not only can you register to vote but you can also check on your registration statue, confirm your address and other details.

Bushey reminds everyone that the process is not difficult.

"You need to get out and cast the vote to have your voice heard," she said. "You're only getting one vote and that's how you make your voice heard.

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