Skip to main content

Conservatorship FAQs

 

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 youare 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.

• lf 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. The judge should review your case and might decide to let you 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

 


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 If you have told the court or the court investigator is "I want to vote."

 


What if I cannot speak, can I still vote?

Yes. You can let the judge know that you want to vote anyway 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 the 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. 

 


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.