How ROV Works: How does the ROV update voter records?

Let’s start with who is allowed to vote. To register to vote in California, you must be:

  • A United States citizen
  • A California resident
  • 18 years old or older
  • Not in state or federal prison for a felony conviction
  • Not declared mentally incompetent by court action

Now 16- and 17-year old’s can pre-register to vote if all other eligibility qualifications are met. Those who pre-register will automatically be registered to vote on their 18th birthday.

Voters are constantly on the move, changing their party preference and changing their names. We work hard to keep the list of registered voters accurate and as up to date as possible based on the information received. It is a big job. There are more than 1.9 million registered voters in San Diego County.

The registration list is carefully designed and maintained so that:

  • Every eligible registered voter can vote
  • Voters' addresses, political party preferences and name changes are up to date
  • No one votes twice

To make sure voter records are current, we conduct daily, weekly and monthly file maintenance activities.

The Registrar:

  • Updates rolls as is required by state and federal law
  • Cross-checks registration information with data from other government agencies
  • Updates registration changes received from voters
  • Cancels registration when official records or family notification show a voter has died
  • Cancels registration when data from the court system shows felony or court ordered cancellation

Change of Address

Many residents forget to inform the Registrar’s office when they move. Several sources help the ROV update information:

  • United States Postal Service’s National Change of Address (NCOA) database, received and processed monthly
  • California Department of Motor Vehicles Change of Address (DMVCOA) database, received and processed daily
  • California’s statewide voter registration system when voters re-register in another county within the state
  • Local election offices throughout the country when voters list San Diego County as their previously registered location
  • California Secretary of State statewide voter registration duplicate checks, received and processed daily
  • Returned mail from the United States Postal Service: When official mail ballots, voter information guides and other ROV correspondence is returned as undeliverable, we update the voter’s address if a new one is provided

Deceased Voters

We cross-check information with the California Secretary of State, San Diego Superior Court Jury Administration and the County Health and Human Services Agency.


The San Diego Superior Court and Secretary of State inform us about people in prison for felony convictions.


The San Diego County Superior Court’s Jury Administration Department informs us of non-citizenship claims received on jury summons notices.

Mentally Incompetent

The San Diego Superior Court Probate Division informs us when a court action has declared a person mentally incompetent.

Be proactive!

Update your registration when you move, change your name or change your political party preference. Check your voter information now!

For more information on your voter registration data, see Where Does Voter Information Go?

Download PDF copy of this page