Source Information

California State Library
Ancestry.com. California, Voter Registrations, 1900-1968 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2017.
Original data: State of California, United States. Great Register of Voters. Sacramento, California: California State Library.

About California, Voter Registrations, 1900-1968

This database contains indexes to voter registration lists from various counties in California from 1900-1968.

Historical Background:

The first voter registrations in California took place in 1866 as the result of a legislative act. The act called for “the registration of the citizens of the State, and for the enrollment in the several election districts of all the legal voters thereof, and for the prevention and punishment of frauds affecting the elective franchise.” The voter registers are also known as the Great Registers. Prior to 1866, voter records consisted of county poll lists.

In 1872 another law required that counties publish an index or alphabetical listing of all registered voters every two years. This usually happened on the even numbered years.

In California, women were granted the right to vote in 1911. Therefore, the first year women will appear in the registers is in 1912.

About the Records:

This database consists primarily of the voter indexes published every two years, including indexes to the Great Registers, to affidavits for registration, and to precinct registers.

Voter registrations were kept on the county level by the county clerk. Indexes to these records are organized according to county and voting wards and/or precincts. Within each precinct voters are listed alphabetically according to surname. Information listed about each voter may include:

  • Name

  • Age

  • Address

  • Occupation

  • Political Affiliation

Why Use Voting Records:

Voter registers are great records to use as “census substitutes”, since they will usually contain the names of heads of households and other adults. They are useful when census records are either not complete or non-existent, and are usually available in between census years. Because voter registers were published on a fairly consistent basis and are generally state-wide, they are useful for tracking individuals over time and place.

Counties and Years Included in this Collection:

Below is a list of the counties and years for which records are included in this database. Most of the counties only published their records every two years, on the even numbered years. However, a few counties, including San Francisco, published them yearly for a few years at a time, so will also include some odd numbered years. Even though the records were published every other year, the below list only indicates the overall year range coverage and also which even numbered years, if any, are missing from this collection.

  • Alameda (1900-1944)
  • Alpine (1902-1944, missing 1904, 1906, and 1908)
  • Amador (1900-1944)
  • Butte (1900-1944)
  • Calaveras (1900-1944)
  • Contra Costa (1942-1944)
  • Del Norte (1900-1944, missing 1900, 1906, 1908, and 1910)
  • El Dorado (1900-1944)
  • Fresno (1900-1944)
  • Glenn (1900-1944)
  • Humboldt (1900-1948)
  • Imperial (1900-1960, missing 1900, 1902, 1904, and 1906)
  • Inyo (1900-1944, missing 1910, 1912, and 1914)
  • Kern (1910-1960)
  • Kings (1900-1944)
  • Lake (1900-1944, missing 1908)
  • Lassen (1900-1944)
  • Los Angeles (1916-1962, missing 1918, 1920, 1932, 1960, 1962)
  • Madera (1900-1944)
  • Marin (1900-1944)
  • Mariposa (1900-1944)
  • Merced (1900-1938)
  • Mono (1900-1944)
  • Monterey (1900-1944, missing 1904)
  • Napa (1900-1944, missing 1902)
  • Nevada (1902-1928)
  • Orange (1900-1968)
  • Sacramento (1900-1944, missing 1904)
  • San Benito (1928-1944)
  • San Bernardino (1902-1964)
  • San Diego (1902-1944, missing 1908)
  • San Francisco (1900-1944, missing 1933, 1942)
  • San Joaquin (1900-1944)
  • San Luis Obispo (1900-1944)
  • San Mateo (1900-1944)
  • Santa Barbara (1900-1944)
  • Santa Clara (1902-1942)
  • Santa Cruz (1900-1944)
  • Shasta (1900-1944)
  • Sierra (1900- 1944, missing 1914)
  • Siskiyou (1900-1944, missing 1906)
  • Solano (1900-1944)
  • Sonoma (1900-1944, missing 1904 and 1916)
  • Stanislaus (1900-1944)
  • Sutter (1900-1916; 1938-1944, missing 1906)
  • Tehama (1900-1944)
  • Trinity (1900-1944, missing 1930)
  • Tulare (1900-1944, missing 1908)
  • Tuolumne (1900-1944)
  • Ventura (1902-1944)
  • Yolo (1902-1944)
  • Yuba (1900-1944, missing 1906)