September is National Voter Reg Month

September is National Voter Registration Month and would-be voters are reminded to fill out the paperwork before the Oct. 18 registration deadline.

“Californians have just a few weeks left to register to vote in the Nov. 2 general election, but there’s no need to wait,” said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, the state’s chief elections officer. “Registering takes only a few moments and National Voter Registration Month is the perfect time to mark the task off your ‘to-do’ list.”

People may register to vote in California if they are United States citizens, reside in California, are at least 18 years old by Election Day, are not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction and have not been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent.

A voter must re-register to vote after changing names, permanent residence or political party choice.

Voters who want to check their registration status should check out a new feature on the Secretary of State’s website — www.sos.ca.gov/elections/registration-status/index.htm — for a list of county Web sites and phone numbers dedicated to registration verification.

People who would like to register to vote may fill out a form online at www.sos.ca.gov/nvrc/fedform/, print, sign and mail it. Californians may also pick up a voter registration form at any county elections office, public library or U.S. post office.

Voter registration forms, vote-by-mail applications and the Secretary of State’s “Guide to Voting” can be found in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_multi.htm.

Voters who wish to cast their ballots by mail and have not requested a vote-by-mail ballot have until Oct. 26 to make that request.

To request a vote-by-mail ballot, a voter can use the application printed on the sample ballot booklet mailed by his or her county elections official or go to www.sos.ca.gov/elections/vote-by-mail/pdf/fill-in-vote-by-mail-app-instruct.pdf.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen