2017 Priorities

Each year the members of Future of California Elections (FoCE) work on a set of priorities, individually and collectively, in order to advance the guiding Principles.

In 2017, FoCE members –election officials, civil rights organizations and election reform advocates– will continue to work to expand participation and improve the state’s election system by:

Improving Californians’ access to voter registration:

  • Support more streamlined voter registration opportunities at colleges and universities, state offices and public assistance agencies, especially for voters with disabilities and limited English proficient voters.
  • Engage in the California Students Vote Project with the Offices of the California Secretary of State and Lieutenant Governor to support the university and college systems to offer more and better online voter registration opportunities and utilize best practices for on the ground voter registration drives.
  • Inform implementation and public education of existing laws, including California’s New Motor Voter Law, the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), and Election Day registration.
  • Implement and disseminate best practices on the preregistration of 16/17-year-olds.
  • Implement best practices to ensure that voters with a criminal conviction and voters under conservatorship are fully re-enfranchised, pursuant to AB 2466 and SB 589, respectively; and ensure that elections officials have the data needed to maintain accuracy of the voter file and register eligible voters.

Improve Californians’ voting experience:

  • Improve the access and design of voting information by presenting information in plain language and providing information in a full range of formats, including in print and online, so that voters can cast an informed and successful ballot as privately and independently as possible, regardless of English proficiency or disability.
  • Improve access to and design of new voter facing resources, built on as part of VoteCal improvements, especially for limited English proficient voters and voters with disabilities.
  • Engage young voters in local elections through civic education and commitment to sustained civic participation.
  • Inform redesign of vote-by-mail envelopes to reduce voter confusion and signature issues.

Improve California’s election administration system:

  • Implement language access best practices in all counties with language requirements and provide technical assistance to counties covered by new language determinations.
  • Promote best practices for assisting voters with disabilities through improved poll worker trainings.
  • Evaluate election costs and voter performance post-Election 2016 to inform best practices and develop new policies, including exploring new funding policies.
  • Engage in implementation of the Voter’s Choice Act (SB 450) in pilot counties to ensure the best voter experience for all voters including limited English proficient voters and voters with disabilities; and evaluate relevant technologies used in vote centers, including e-poll books and real-time connectivity.
  • Inform implementation of new laws that support election administration, including remote accessible ballot systems, best practices for ballot drop-off locations, consolidated elections and guidelines for provisional ballots.
  • Develop best practices on vote-by-mail, including engagement in rulemaking for signature comparing and further research on disparities of vote-by-mail users.