Your Voting Rights Under Conservatorship (SB 589)

Publications
#5590.01

Your Voting Rights Under Conservatorship (SB 589)

People who have conservators can vote unless a judge says they cannot. This pub tells you how to find out if a judge took away your right to vote. It tells you how to get the right to vote back. It tells you what to do if the judge will not give your right to vote back to you.

Who has the right to vote in California?

You are eligible to vote in California if you are:

  • A United States citizen;
  • A resident of California;
  • 18 years of age or older on Election Day;
  • Not currently imprisoned or on parole for the conviction of a felony; and
  • Not under a conservatorship where a court ruled you are not allowed to vote.

Can I still vote if I am under conservatorship?

Yes. You can vote unless a judge ruled that you are not allowed to vote. When you were first assessed for a conservatorship, the court made a decision about whether you can vote.

If the court said you cannot vote it is possible they made a mistake, especially if your conservatorship was set up before 2016. Starting in 2016, California changed how it decides who can vote. Now the only time a court can take away your right to vote is if you cannot let them know you want to vote. You may be able to get your right to vote back.

How do I find out if I lost my right to vote?

There are lots of ways to find out if you are eligible to vote:

  • Check the order appointing a conservator (look at the form with the number GC 340).
  • There is a section that says whether or not you are allowed to vote.
  • If the box on the form is not checked, then you are eligible to vote and you just need to fill out a voter registration application and you can vote.
  • If the box on the form is checked, then the court said you cannot vote. See the next question to find out how to apply to get your right to vote back.
  • If you cannot find your form GC 340, you can ask your conservator if you have the right to vote or ask the case manager at your regional center to check for you
  • Call your county elections office to ask if you are eligible.

How can I get my right to vote back?

To get your right to vote back:

  • You need the court to make a new decision. You can do this by either waiting for the court’s regular review of your conservatorship or by contacting the court and requesting a review now.
  • If you want to wait for your next review, it should happen every one or two years. It could be longer in some counties where they are behind on reviews because they do not have enough staff.
  • If you want your voting rights reviewed right away you need to contact the court to request a review of your right to vote. You can use the sample letter on page 3 to contact the court and tell the judge you want to vote. The judge should review your case and might decide to let you to vote. If an election is soon, ask the court to do your review as soon as possible.

Who can help me contact the court?

You can get help from anyone you want, such as a friend or family member. Some other people who might help are:

  • Your conservator
  • Your case manager at your regional center
  • Your attorney
  • Disability Rights California Voting Rights Unit (1-888-569-7955).

What do I do if the judge or court investigator asks me about voting?

All you need to say to a judge or court investigator is, “I want to vote.” If you are being asked more questions and feel nervous or intimidated, contact Disability Rights California Voting Hotline: 1-888-569-7955.

What if I cannot speak, can I still vote?

Yes. You can let the judge know that you want to vote any way you are able to. For example, you can use any device that helps you let people know what you want.

What if I cannot read or write without help, can I still vote?

Yes. You are entitled to assistance with registering to vote and with voting. For example, you can have anybody help you fill out a voter registration card or help you fill out a ballot. Also, each polling place has a machine that will read the ballot to you and even help you mark the ballot.

What if court does my review and says I cannot vote?

If you have told the court or the court investigator you want to vote, the court should hold a hearing to decide if you can vote. If the court decides you cannot vote, contact the Disability Rights California Voting Hotline: 1-888-569-7955.

How can I protect my right to vote?

If this is the first time you are being reviewed for a conservatorship, make sure to tell your case manager at your regional center, the court investigator who comes to speak to you, and the judge that you want to vote. Every time your conservatorship is reviewed, tell the court investigator and the judge that you want to vote.

What do I do if people are trying to tell me I should not vote or trying to stop me from voting?

If you feel you are being discouraged from voting or have faced discrimination, please contact the Disability Rights California Voting Hotline: 1-888-569-7955.

 

SAMPLE LETTER STATING YOUR DESIRE TO VOTE

September 15, 2016 (Today’s current Month, Day, Year)

Insert judge’s name and address for the court; see list of court addresses starting in the next section below.

Judge Judy Smith (First and Last Name if you have the name)

OR

Clerk of the Court (If you don’t know the name of the judge)
Superior Court of ________ County
Probate Clerk

1234 Main Street (Insert address for the court. See list of court addresses in the next section below)
City, CA 94123

Your First and Last Name (Name of Conservatee)

Your Case Number (Case # of Conservatorship. Check your order appointing a conservator for the case number)

First and Last Name of Contact Person (Contact person for Conservatee)

789 First Avenue (Your street address, City and State)

City, CA 94321 (Your city, state, and ZIP code)

714-333-3333 (A telephone number)

name@gmail.com (An email address)

Dear Judge _________: (or use “Clerk of the Court”):

I would like to vote. Please restore my right to vote pursuant to California Senate Bill 589 as soon as possible. (If there is an upcoming election, ask to have your voting rights restored before the voter registration deadline, which is 15 days before the election.)

Please send a copy of the order reinstating my right to vote to me, and send a copy to the county elections office.

Thank you,

[Your Signature Conservatee signature]

Print your name
Print name of Conservatee

cc: (Send copies of the letter to your conservator and your attorney)
      [Name of your Attorney if you know their name]
      [Name of your Conservator]

 

LIST OF MAILING ADDRESS FOR PROBATE DIVISION COURT HOUSES

Superior Court of Alameda County
Berkeley Courthouse
Probate Division
2120 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

Superior Court of Del Norte County
Probate Clerk
450 H Street
Crescent City, CA 95531

Superior Court of Amador County
Probate Clerk
500 Argonaut Lane
Jackson, CA 95642

Superior Court of El Dorado County
Probate Clerk
Placerville Fair Lane Branch
295 Fair Lane Placerville, CA 95667

Superior Court of Butte County
Probate Clerk
1775 Concord Avenue
Chico, CA 95928

Superior Court Fresno County
Probate Clerk
1130 O Street Third Floor Fresno, CA 93721-2220

Superior Court of Calaveras County
Probate Clerk
400 Government Center Drive
San Andreas, CA 95249-9794

Superior Court of Glenn County
Probate Clerk
526 West Sycamore Street
Willows, CA 95988

Superior Court of Colusa County
Probate Clerk
532 Oak Street;
Colusa, CA 95932

Superior Court of Humboldt County
Probate Clerk
421 I Street,
Eureka, CA 95501

Superior Court of Contra Costa County
Probate Clerk
725 Court Street
Martinez, CA 94553

Superior Court of Imperial County
Probate Clerk
939 West Main Street
El Centro, CA 92243

Superior Court of Inyo County
Probate Clerk
168 North Edwards
Independence, CA 93526

Superior Court of Madera County
Probate Clerk
200 South "G" Street
Madera, CA 93637

Superior Court of Kern County
Probate Clerk
Department 1
1215 Truxtun Ave
Bakersfield, CA 93301

Superior Court of Marin County
Probate Clerk
Civic Center Hall of Justice Rm #113
P.O. Box 4988
San Rafael, CA 94913

Superior Court of Kings County
Probate Clerk
1640 Kings County Drive
Hanford, CA 93230

Superior Court of Mariposa County
Probate Clerk
P.O. Box 28
Mariposa, CA 95338

Superior Court of Lake County
4th Floor, Room 417
255 North Forbes Street
Lakeport, CA 95453

Superior Court of Mendocino County
Probate Clerk
100 North State Street
Ukiah, CA 95482

Superior Court of Lassen County
Probate Clerk
2610 Riverside Drive
Susanville, CA 96130-2610

Superior Court of Merced County
Probate Clerk
627 W. 21st Street
Merced, CA 95340

Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse
42011 4th Street West
Lancaster, CA 93534

Superior Court of Modoc County
Probate Clerk
205 South East Street
Alturas, CA 96101

Superior Court of Los Angeles County
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
Probate Clerk
111 North Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Superior Court of Mono County
Probate Clerk
P.O. Box 1037
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Superior Court of Monterey County
Probate Clerk
1200 Aguajito Road
Monterey, CA 93940

Superior Court of San Benito County
Probate Clerk
450 Fourth Street
Hollister, CA 95023

Superior Court of Napa County
Probate Clerk
825 Brown Street
Napa, CA 94559

Superior Court of San Bernardino County
Probate Clerk
247 West Third Street
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0212

Superior Court of Nevada County
Probate Clerk
201 Church Street
Nevada City, CA 95959

Superior Court of San Diego County
Madge Bradley Courthouse
Probate Clerk
1409 Fourth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Superior Court of Orange County
Probate Clerk
Central Justice Center
700 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Superior Court of San Francisco County
Probate Clerk, Room 202
400 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-4514

Superior Court of Riverside County
Probate Clerk
4050 Main St
Riverside, CA 92501

Superior Court of San Joaquin County
P.O. Box 201022
Stockton, CA 95201

Superior Court of Sacramento County
Probate Clerk
3341 Power Inn Road
Sacramento, CA 95826

Superior Court of San Luis Obispo County
Probate Clerk
1035 Palm Street, Room 385
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

Superior Court of San Mateo County
Probate Clerk
Hall of Justice
400 County Center
Redwood City, CA 94063

Superior Court of Sierra County
Probate Clerk
P.O. Box 476
Downieville, CA 95936

Superior Court of Santa Barbara County
South County
Anacapa Division
1100 Anacapa Street
P.O. Box 21107
Santa Barbara, CA 93121-1107

Superior Court of Siskiyou County
Probate Clerk
311 Fourth Street, Room 206
Yreka, CA 96097

Superior Court of Santa Barbara County
North County
Cook Division
312-C East Cook Street
P.O. Box 5369
Santa Maria, CA 93456-5369

Superior Court of Solano County
Probate Clerk
Hall of Justice
600 Union Avenue
Fairfield, CA 94533

Superior Court of Santa Clara County
Probate Clerk
191 North First Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Superior Court of Sonoma County
Probate Clerk
Hall of Justice
600 Administration Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Superior Court of Santa Cruz
Probate Clerk
701 Ocean Street, Room 110
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Superior Court of Stanislaus County
Probate Examiner
801-10th Street, Sixth Floor
Modesto, CA 95354

Superior Court of Shasta County
Probate Clerk
1500 Court Street, Room 319
Redding, CA 96001

Superior Court of Sutter County
Probate Clerk
1175 Civic Center Blvd
Yuba City, CA 95993

Superior Court of Trinity County
Probate Clerk
P.O. Box 1257
Weaverville, CA 96093-1258

Superior Court of Tehama County
Probate Clerk
633 Washington St., Room 17
Red Bluff, CA 96080

Superior Court of Tulare County
Probate Clerk
221 South Mooney Blvd, Room 201
Visalia, CA 93291

Superior Court of Ventura County
Probate Clerk
P.O. Box 6489
Ventura, CA 93006-6489

Superior Court of Toulumne County
Probate Clerk
41 West Yaney Avenue
Sonora, CA 95370

Superior Court Yolo County
Probate Clerk
1000 Main Street
Woodland, CA 95695

Superior Court of Yuba County
Probate Clerk
215 Fifth Street, Suite 200
Marysville, CA 95901

 

 

 

 

Click links below for a downloadable version.