Restoring Your Voting Rights
Sometimes, a citizen can be disqualified from registration and voting, due to imprisonment for a felony conviction, being placed under a court-ordered conservatorship, or other reason ordered by a court of law. People in these situations often are not aware that they may actually be able to exercise their right to vote. It is easy to get confused about what your rights are based on your situation. Our office is here to help you.
Under California law, if you meet the qualifications for registration, you may register and vote.
You are qualified to register in Nevada County if all the following are true:
- You are a United States citizen
- You a resident of California and live in Nevada County
- You are 18 years or older on Election Day
- Not currently serving a state or federal prison term for the conviction of a felony
- Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court
For those with felony convictions, this means that you can vote if you are not currently in prison. It does not matter if you were once in prison, or for how long, or how long it has been since being released. It does not make a difference if you are on parole. If you are not currently incarcerated for a felony conviction, then you can register and vote.
For those who are in custody for a non-felony, you have the right to register and vote. Corrections officers must, by law, supply you with the information and forms needed to register, receive a ballot and elections materials, and return a ballot. We are able to mail your ballot to the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility, Truckee Jail, or other location where you are being held.
If you are or were in custody at the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility or are a citizen in custody anywhere else and want to learn more about your voting rights, please read our informational pamphlet https://www.nevadacountyca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/47280/Wayne-Brown-Pamphlet.
You may also learn more at the Secretary of State's website for restoring your voting rights after a felony conviction https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/restore-your-vote.
For those who may be under a conservatorship, the law assumes that you have the capacity needed to vote. You only lose your voting rights when a court of law disqualifies you from voting. The mere fact of being under a conservatorship is not disqualifying. If a court did not disqualify you, then you may still vote.
To learn more about how the laws of conservatorship protect voting rights, please refer to the Secretary of State's website https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-info/conservatorship.