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Can I vote in California if I am not a U.S. citizen?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2022 | Immigration

The short answer is no. Non-citizens should be very careful not to vote, even accidentally, to avoid serious consequences.

U.S. citizens have many rights and privileges. One of the most important is the right to vote.

Information about voting can get confusing, but it’s important to know that noncitizens cannot vote in California elections. In order to register to vote, you must meet the following criteria. You must be:

  • A U.S. citizen and a resident of California
  • At least 18 years old on Election Day
  • Not currently in state or federal prison because of a conviction for a felony
  • Not currently proven by a court to be mentally incompetent to vote

Am I allowed to vote if I am not a U.S. citizen?

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you are not eligible to vote in congressional elections or any other California election. Non-U.S. citizens should also be careful and avoid registering to vote. Unfortunately, there is a lot of false and confusing information online, some of it claiming that California is now registering non-citizens to vote. Some of the confusion may come from cities, like San Francisco that allow non-citizens to vote on local school-board issues.

Solid advice from a California immigration lawyer

If you are not currently a U.S. citizen, you may have options. A knowledgeable immigration lawyer can educate you about what is involved with becoming a U.S. citizen and all of the rights and privileges that will be yours at that point.  You chose the United States because you wanted a better life for you and for your family and your immigration lawyer can help to make that happen.