Local election races have already begun

Ah, the June 7 election may be five months away, but as candidates could begin collecting signatures in lieu of paying fees earlier this week, some campaigns may start tomorrow.

According to runforoffice.com, there are 13 local county seats up for grabs — Lassen County Assessor, Lassen County Auditor/Controller, Lassen County District Attorney, Lassen County Superintendent of Schools, Lassen County Sheriff-Coroner, Lassen County Supervisor District 3, Lassen County Supervisor District 5 and Lassen County Treasurer-Tax Collector.

Two seats are also up for election on the Susanville City Council.

Key dates and deadlines

According to the California Secretary of State’s website, these are the key dates and deadlines for this election.

Jan. 11 to Feb. 9 — Signatures in lieu of filing fee period.

Jan. 27 to Feb. 16 — Candidate statement period for State Voter Information Guide (U.S. Senate and Constitutional offices).

Feb. 14 to March 11 — Declaration of Candidacy and Nomination Paper period.

Feb. 14 to March 11 — Candidate statement period for county Voter Information Guides (U.S. House of Representatives, state senate and state assembly).

March 17 — Randomized alphabet drawing.

March 26 — Notice to candidates for voter-nominated offices.

March 31 — Certified list of candidates for voter-nominated offices.

May 23 — Online or mailed registrations must be received by May 23. Voters may “conditionally” register and vote at the county elections office after the 15-day voter registration deadline.

May 31 — Mail-by-Ballot request must be received by this date.

June 7 — 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. — Statewide Direct Primary Election. Personally delivered ballots must be received by the 8 p.m. close of the polls June 7. Mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before June 7 and received by the county election office no later than June 14.

All registered voters can vote in a Primary or General Election

  To register to vote in California, you must be:

• A United States citizen and a resident of California;

• 18 years old or older on Election Day; 

• Not currently serving a state or federal prison term for the conviction of a felony; and 

• Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court.

Qualifications to pre-register to vote

  To pre-register to vote in California, you must:

• Be 16 or 17 years old; and

• Meet all of the other eligibility requirements to vote.

You will automatically be registered to vote on your 18th birthday.

Registration deadlines

Californians must be registered to vote at least 15 days before Election Day. If the registration deadline has passed for an upcoming election, in most elections you may visit your county elections office, a vote center or a satellite office designated by your county elections official during the 14 days prior to, and including Election Day to conditionally register to vote and vote a provisional ballot. This process is called Same Day Voter Registration.

Once you register, you may vote in all state and local elections. You will not need to register to vote again unless you change your name or change your political party preference.  If you move, you can update your California residence address by re-registering online or by submitting a paper voter registration application.

You can also send a signed letter to your current county elections official, informing them of your move and providing them with your date of birth and current address, even if it is in a different county.  However, if you have already updated your residence address at the Department of Motor Vehicles or the U.S. Postal Service, your registration will be automatically updated with your new address.

How do you register to vote by the deadline?

• Go to online voter registration to complete an application;

• Pick up a paper voter registration application at any Department of Motor Vehicles field office, and many post offices, public libraries, and government offices or request one from your county elections office.  To receive a voter registration application by mail from the Secretary of State, call the toll-free Voter Hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683).

How will I identify myself when registering to vote?

The voter registration application asks for your driver license or California identification card number, or you can use the last four numbers on your Social Security card. If you do not have a driver license, California identification card or Social Security card, you may leave that space blank. Your county elections official will assign a number to you that will be used to identify you as a voter.

Who may register and vote after the deadline?

State law allows some people to register and vote even when they will not be eligible until after the voter registration deadline.  See the below headings for examples:

New citizens

If you will become a U.S. citizen less than 15 days before the next election, you may still be able to register and vote. To do this, you must visit your county elections office any time before the polls close on Election Day. You must bring proof that you are a U.S. citizen and sign a form saying you are eligible to vote in California. Contact your county elections office for more information

New state residents

If you meet all the other requirements to vote in California but become a California resident less than 15 days before the next election, you may still be able to register and vote. To do this, you must visit your county elections office at least seven days before Election Day. You will be required to sign an oath saying you are eligible to vote in California and have not voted in the same election in any other state. Then you may vote only for President and Vice President.  Contact your county elections office for more information.

Citizens who conditionally register to vote

After a voter registration deadline has passed, in most elections, you can visit your county elections office, a vote center, or a satellite office designated by your county elections official to conditionally register to vote and vote a provisional ballot. Once your county elections official processes your affidavit of registration, determines your eligibility to register, and validates your information, your registration becomes permanent and your provisional ballot will be counted.