Frequently asked election questions

July 18  to August 12 – NOMINATION PERIOD

Candidates may come to the City Clerk’s office to pick up their nomination papers and file other election documents during business hours as posted, by appointment ONLY.

  • NOTE: The Santa Ana City Charter requires persons running for City Council to be a thirty (30) day resident of the ward from which the candidate is nominated and requires persons running for mayor to be a thirty (30) day resident at the time nomination papers are issued. (Resolution NO. 2020-041)


August 13 to August 17 – EXTENDED FILING PERIOD

Filing is extended if an incumbent is eligible to file for re-election and fails to do so by the 5:00 pm deadline on August 12, 2022. Incumbents are not eligible to file during the extended filing period.



Secretary of State conducts a random drawing to determine the order of the names displayed on the ballot.


August 13 to August 23 – PUBLIC EXAMINATION PERIOD

Public review period for candidate statements and ballot designations.

  • NOTE: The public may view nomination papers but may not copy or distribute copies of this document that obtains the signatures of voters. (Elections Code Section 17100)


November 8 – ELECTION DAY




Before each election, the Registrar of Voters sends every registered voter a Voter Information Guide “Sample Ballot” that lists the candidates and tells the voter where to vote. To Vote-by-Mail or see more voting options for select Vote Centers, please visit

Any person who is 18 years of age and a citizen of the United States or naturalized citizen can register to vote by filling out an Affidavit of Registration.  Check the Registrar of Voters website  for further information.  Registration forms are available at the following locations:

County of Orange
Registrar of Voters Office
1300 South Grand Avenue
Santa Ana, California

City Clerk’s Office
Santa Ana City Hall
20 Civic Center Plaza, 8th Floor
Santa Ana, California

The City Clerk and the Orange County Registrar of Voters jointly conduct elections for the City of Santa Ana.  The Clerk’s staff advises candidates about procedures; accepts and maintains campaign statement reports; provides voter registration forms; maintains precinct information; and provides maps and instruction manuals to candidates.  The Registrar of Voters prints the ballots and voter pamphlet, trains poll workers, administers elections at the polls, counts the ballots, and certifies the election results. The City Council approves the election results and the City Clerk swears in the new Council members and the Mayor.

The Registrar of Voters Office certifies election results (the Registrar has up to 30 days following election day).  The final results are sent to the City Clerk who in turn presents them to the City Council at a Special Meeting for acceptance.  The City Council approves the election results. The City Clerk administers the Oath of Office to the successful candidates.  A term of office begins at 6:00 pm on the second Tuesday of December following certification of election results.

Yes. Santa Ana City Charter Section 1206 provides that candidates for city office shall accept no more than $1,000 from any one person per election cycle.  “Election cycle” is the period of time between the date of an election to the office of Mayor or Council member and the date of the next election to the same office. The election cycles run 2 years for the Mayor and 4 years for a Ward Council member.

NOTE: Candidates have no restrictions as to the amount of money they can contribute from their own personal funds to their campaign account.

Yes. The FPPC has the forms available on their website.

At 8:00 pm on Election Day, the polls close. All the ballots from the polling places are taken to the Registrar of Voters Office where they are counted by computer. Ballot counting continues until all the ballots received at the polls are tallied (this sometimes takes all night). The results which are “unofficial” at this point are given to the newspapers, television, radio stations, and individuals waiting in the Registrar of Voters Office. Results are also available on the Registrar’s website.

A voter who has signed an initiative, referendum, or recall petition pursuant to the Constitution or laws of this state shall have his or her signature withdrawn from the petition upon filing a written request that includes the voter’s name, residence address, and signature with the appropriate county elections official or city elections official prior to the day the petition is filed (Elections Code Section 103).

You may obtain the required forms in the City Clerk’s Office, 20 Civic Center Plaza or you may download the forms available through the Fair Political Practice Commission (FPPC). The forms required include:

If a candidate intends to solicit donations or spend more than $2,000 they must file the following forms:

Form 410: Statement of Organization – File with the Secretary of State and provide copy to City Clerk’s Office
Form 501: Candidate Intention Statement
If a candidate does not spend or solicit more than $2,000 they must file the following forms with the Secretary of State and provide copies to the City Clerk’s Office:

Form 470: Officeholder and Candidate Campaign Statement: Short Form Statement

To become a candidate in the next City election, you must first be a registered voter and reside in the ward from which you intend to be nominated, for at least 30 days from the time nomination forms are issued to you. Persons wishing to run for Mayor can live anywhere in the City. Nomination and other candidate forms are only available during regular business hours by appointed as posted. The official filing period begins 113 days prior to election day and not later than the 88th day. The Election Calendar is available for review on the City’s website.

Elections for Council members and the Mayor are held in even-numbered years — on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The next City election will be held on November 8, 2022, and the voters will elect Council members for Wards 2, 4, 6 and Mayor.

The next General Municipal Election in Santa Ana will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

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