It took our staff an average of three minutes and 37.46 seconds to register to vote. Here’s how you can do it too.
(If you email a screenshot of your receipt to email@example.com, we’ll get you a free sticker and a copy of our print edition next month. Read to the end for more info.)
Step 1: What do I need? Am I even eligible?
You don’t have to be 18 to do this. If you’re 16 or 17, you can pre-register to vote, which will save your future self the effort — might as well do it now. You’ll automatically be registered on your 18th birthday.
- to be a United States citizen (and, to use the link we’re providing, a resident of California).
- not to be serving a state or federal prison term for conviction of a felony.
- not to be found (quoting the state secretary’s website) “mentally incompetent to vote by a court.” This only applies to citizens with grave disabilities, and likely does not apply to you if you’re reading this.
- your social security card.
- your driver’s license, if you have one.
- to remember your address. Please.
- a solid work ethic and a can-do attitude!*
*That’s sarcastic, FYI.
Step 2: How do I actually register?
Click this link. You fill out the same exact form regardless of whether you’re registering or pre-registering. This first page takes, like, a minute or less to fill out, and it’s perfectly easy to do on your phone — if that’s where you’re reading this.
The second page will ask you if you want to get voting guides in the mail and if you want to volunteer at your local polling station. Then you have to check a box that says you didn’t lie about anything. Hopefully you didn’t. Now, just review the information you entered and hit “submit.”
That’s literally it, unless you don’t have a driver’s license, in which case you should read the next step.
Step 3: I don’t have a driver’s license. What should I do?
Here’s a little arts and crafts project for you. Fill out the form as instructed above, then print the PDF provided by the portal. Print your registration confirmation on one sheet to keep for yourself, then the registration application (which you’ve pre-filled online) and the page with the state secretary’s mailing address on a separate double-sided sheet.
If you don’t have a printer, try your school or city library. If you can directly connect to a classroom printer, you could also do that, but just know that somebody could steal your identity with the information on your form. Don’t be sending that PDF around all willy-nilly.
Sign the bottom of your application. Fold the sheet in half. Tape it. Slap on a stamp, which you can purchase for 58 cents each here or at any Office Depot, CVS, Walgreens, etc. Drop the sheet in your home mailbox or a blue USPS collection bin — or make the trek to the post office. You’re done. Good work.
Step 4: How do I redeem my free Midpen Post sticker and print edition?
Email a photo of your registration receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org. Blur out your affidavit number if you want (though we’re not totally sure what you can actually do with that). If you go to Los Altos, Mountain View, Gunn or Paly, let us know in your email and a staff member will make sure you get the goods. If not, give us your home mailing address.
FYI: This is the first and possibly only time we’re ever doing a print run — and we’re only printing 2,000 copies, so supplies are limited. You’ll get to be part of the special club of Midpen Post print edition owners. Cute.
Another FYI: Print donors, don’t worry, we’re purchasing the stickers with our own money. Didn’t want to use your donation for something other than printing our paper.