Making Democracy Work

Election Information

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation of citizens in government. The League neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office. The listed election links do not constitute League endorsement of the contents, opinions or information included in those sites.

Mail Ballots

Be sure to read the instruction accompanying the ballot to determine the needed postage.

Voting

Who is eligible to vote?

You are eligible to vote in any election if, on the day of election:

1. You are a citizen of the United States.

2. You have been a resident of Ventura County for at least 15 days.

3. You have been properly registered to vote for at least 15 days.

4. You are not incarcerated or on parole for the conviction of a felony.

5. You are at least 18 years old on the day of the election.

6. Not declared mentally incompetent by court action.

You do not have to be able to read or write in English or any other language. Probationers may register to vote.

Note: If you move to a different precinct less than 15 days before an election, you may vote by absentee ballot or by returning to your old precinct. You may vote and then re-register by asking for a form at the polling place.

How can I register?

We suggest that you register in one of the following ways:

1. You may register in person at the Elections Division in Ventura County.

2. You may register by mail, using a postcard affidavit. These are available at schools, libraries, city halls, fire stations, DMV and other state offices, chambers of commerce and post offices.

3. The "Motor Voter" law requires that all state offices, including the Department of Motor Vehicles, must keep voter registration affidavits available and that state employees must assist citizens in filling one out. In addition, whenever you apply for a driver's license, you are automatically registered to vote unless you ask not to be registered.

4. You may register on-line by going to: http://registertovote.ca.gov/

Note: Each person who registers to vote is sent a Voter Notification Card. If you do not receive such a card within three weeks of registering, contact the Elections Division, or call the Registrar of Voters (805-654-2781 for Ventura County) and ask if you are registered.

What information must I provide?

Full name. First, middle, last. Complete residence address, not a post office box. (If there is no street address you may describe where you live.) The address where you get your mail, if different from your residence address. This may be a post office box. Your California drivers' license number or identification card number is mandatory if you have one. Otherwise, provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN). The name of the U.S. state or the foreign country where you were born. Your political party preference - you may check "decline to state" if you wish. In which language you prefer to receive election materials. The address at which you were last registered to vote (if any). Your signature and the date you signed the form. By signing the form you certify that the information is truthful and correct under penalty of perjury. If you are unable to write your name you may make a mark or a cross. Someone else may fill out the form for you. That person must sign and date the form below your mark. Mail form directly after signing.

You may also choose to provide any of the following information: Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms. Your telephone number. This number becomes a public record.

You may also choose to become a permanent absentee voter and receive a ballot in the mail for all elections in which you are eligible to vote.

Does it cost to register?

No. Registration is free.

When can I register?

You may register at anytime, but you must register at least 15 days before the first election in which you want to vote.

If you register between 29 and 15 days prior to the election you will be sent a sample ballot only if there is time to process your registration. Otherwise you will receive a post card giving your polling place location. Sample ballots will be available at the polling places.

When is it necessary to re-register?

Once you have registered to vote in Ventura County, you need to re-register only if:

1. You have moved from your original registration address.

2. You wish to change your name, party affiliation, or other information on your registration form.

Where is my residence?

The place where you physically reside: If you are a college student living away from home you may register at you college residence address (on or off campus), or at your permanent home address, but only at one of these places. If you own more than one residence you must decide which one is your "domicile" and register and vote at only one place. If you are homeless you may register as long as you maintain a fixed location where you can receive mail and at which you can be assigned to a precinct.

Must I declare a party affiliation?

No. However, if you have not declared a party affiliation, during a primary election your presidential vote is really a vote for the delegates to the party's nominating convention, and only registered voters of that party are counted.

How can I get an absentee ballot?

Any registered voter may obtain an absentee ballot, by mail or in person, from the Elections Division. An application for an absentee ballot is included in the sample ballot that will be mailed to you before an election. Mailed requests for absentee ballots must be received in the office of the Elections Division no later than 5 p.m. one week before an election is held. During the week preceding an election, absentee ballots may be obtained in person from the Elections Division.

Note: Absentee ballots can be requested at any time prior to an election, but they are not mailed to voters until the close of registration (29 days before an election).

How do I contact the Elections Division?

The Elections Division is in the Administration Building, 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA 93009. Telephone toll-free at (805) 654-2781 or view their web site at: http://recorder.countyofventura.org and click on "Elections".

When are elections held?

Most residents of Ventura County have the opportunity to vote in six types of elections, held according to a variety of schedules:

1. General elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years. Their purpose is to elect national, state, and some special-district and county officers and to decide local and state ballot issues.

2. Primary elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June. Their purpose is to choose candidates who will run in general elections, to elect delegates to national party conventions, to elect party central committee members and to decide some local and state ballot issues. Note: A candidate for county or special-district office who receives a majority of the votes cast in a primary election is automatically elected and does not need to run in November.

3. Municipal elections coincide with general elections in nine of the ten incorporated cities in Ventura County. The exception is the city of Ventura, where they are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in odd-numbered years.

4. School elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in both even and odd-numbered years.

5. Special-district elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in even and odd-numbered years.

6. Recall elections may be scheduled for any Tuesday of any month in any year.

What is a nonpartisan office?

A nonpartisan is an office for which candidates' names appear on the ballot without party designation. No party may nominate a candidate for nonpartisan office.

Which offices are nonpartisan?

Local offices such as most city council members, county supervisors, all judgeships, including the statewide office of member of the California Supreme Court, and all school boards, including the statewide offices of Superintendent of Public Instruction and Insurance Commissioner, are nonpartisan.

Are there nonpartisan primaries?

Yes. Some local nonpartisan primaries such as those for judges are usually held at the same times as the statewide regular primary in March. A candidate for a nonpartisan office who is on the March ballot is selected if he or she wins more than 50% of the vote. If not, there is a runoff election in November between the top two candidates.

Do all nonpartisan offices use primaries?

No. Some nonpartisan offices, such as most city councils and school boards, do not use primaries. Candidates run as independents and the person with the most votes wins even if it is not a majority.

When are local elections held and how do I learn about them?

There is no set time or method that applies to all city, county, school, or special district elections. If you are a registered voter, you will receive a Sample Ballot before the election. This will provide the information you need about who is running for what office and whether there are any local ballot measures. All local offices are nonpartisan and candidates run without party affiliation noted on the ballot.

How can I find answers to other questions?

Contact your county's registrar of voters at (805) 654-2781.

Election Facts

Smart Voter http://www.smartvoter.org -- This is a League of Women Voters site providing nonpartisan information on issues, and offering candidates an opportunity to supply information about themselves. You can find local and state candidates and issues.

Easy Voter http://www.easyvoterguide.org -- Information about issues and candidates. Home page is available in English, Spanish, Viet, Korean, and Japanese/Chinese.

Project Vote Smart http://www.vote-smart.org -- View nonpartisan information including voting records of members of the U.S. House and Senate, positions taken by candidates, campaign finances, text of bills and Congressional Record, and links to other political websites. Also, read biographies and discover credentials of politicians.

Politics1 http://www.politics1.com -- Get to know the presidential candidates for upcoming or current elections! View profiles of declared, undeclared and draft candidates and access links to official campaign pages.

Political Financing http://www.opensecrets.org -- Information on political financing, who's giving it, who's getting it, and how much.

Soft Money http://www.commoncause.org/site/ -- Searchable data base of soft money contributions to Democratic and Republican national party committees, who's giving it, who's getting it, and what it means.

California Secretary of State Elections Division http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/elections.htm -- Gain voter information for the November election. Find information about ballot initiatives, candidate filing, and voter registration.

Fact Checker http://www.FactCheck.org -- "A nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics." Part of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

PolitiFact http://PolitiFact.com -- 2009 Pulitzer prize winner. Evaluates accuracy of political statements. References other evaluators with detailed quotes.

Investigative Journalism http://www.publicintegrity.org/ -- Website for The Center for Public Integrity, Investigative Journalism in the Public Interest. Articles on the questionable behavior of federal and state governments.

Investigative Journalism http://www.propublica.org -- Investigative journalism in the public interest. Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting, among other prizes and awards.

Citizens for Ethics http://www.citizensforethics.org -- Website for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Provides reporting from a wide range of sources, and acts to inform or prod government agencies.

Taxpayers for Common Sense http://www.taxpayer.net -- Taxpayers for Common Sense is an independent and non-partisan voice for taxpayers working to increase transparency and expose and eliminate wasteful and corrupt subsidies, earmarks, and corporate welfare.

Fact-checker http://www.WashingtonPost.com/blogs/fact-checker -- Fact-checker is written by veteran Post columnist Glenn Kessler, awards "Pinocchios" for political falsehoods. National in scope.

Urban Legends http://UrbanLegends.about.com -- Site operated by The New York Times debunks political and other misleading claims, photos and videos nationally.

Common Cause Initiative Reform Click here to see Common Cause Flyer

Ventura Election Contacts

Contacts for Ventura County and its Cities

The County

Ventura County is governed by a board of five supervisors, each representing and elected by one of five districts. All supervisors are four-year terms, with three terms expiring in presidential election years and the other two expiring in the interim even-numbered years.

County offices are located in the Administration Building, Ventura County Government Center, 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura, Ca. 93009. The general information number is (805) 654-5000.

A schedule of the regular meeting times and places of the Board of Supervisors and other major county boards and commissions is provided below, along with phone numbers for contacting their offices:

Board of Supervisors -- (805) 654-5000: Each Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.; Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, Administration Building, Ventura County Government Center.

Planning Commission -- (805) 654-2485: Each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. (Except fifth Thursdays); Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, Ventura County Government Center.

Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) -- (805) 654-2576: Second Wednesday of every month at 9:00 a. m.; Hearing Room, Ventura County Government Center.

Board of Education -- (805) 383-1900: Last Monday of every month at 6:00p.m.; 5189 Verdugo Way, Camarillo.

Community College Board -- (805) 384-8300: Irregularly (call for information); 333 Skyway Drive, Camarillo, 93010.

The Cities

Ventura County contains ten incorporated cities. For city government and meeting schedules, call the number listed for your city.

Camarillo 601 North Carmen Drive, 93010 (805) 388-5314 http://www.ci.camarillo.ca.us

Fillmore 250 Central Avenue, 93015 (805) 524-3701 http://www.fillmoreca.com

Moorpark 799 Moorpark Avenue, 93021 (805) 529-6864 http://www.ci.moorpark.ca.us

Ojai 401 S. Ventura Street, 93023 (805) 646-5581 http://www.ci.ojai.ca.us

Oxnard 300 W. Third Street, 93030 (805) 385-7803 http://www.ci.oxnard.ca.us

Port Hueneme 250 N. Ventura Road, 93041 (805) 488-3625 http://www.ci.port-hueneme.ca.us

Santa Paula 970 Ventura Street, 93060 (805) 525-4478 http://www.ci.santa-paula.ca.us

Simi Valley 2929 Tapo Canyon Road, 93063 (805) 583-6700 http://www.ci.simi-valley.ca.us

Thousand Oaks 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. (805) 449-2121 http://ci.thousand-oaks.ca.us/

Ventura 501 Poli Street, 93001 (805) 658-4787 http://www.ci.ventura.ca.us