Past Events

FoCE Spring Forum: Will California’s New Election Reforms Expand Participation? 
Thursday, May 10, 2018 from 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM

FoCE’s Spring Forum will explore the question: Will California’s new election reforms expand participation? Join us for a group conversation to discuss how recent election reforms will make a difference for California’s diverse electorate. In recent years, California passed many new election reforms and 2018 will be the first year these laws are in place for a statewide general election. The FoCE Spring Forum will focus on four of these new laws—the Voter’s Choice Act, California’s Motor Voter Law, Same Day Voter Registration, and Pre-registration for 16 and 17-Year-Olds. If implemented successfully, the reforms have the potential to expand participation and modernize elections. We will use the networking hour to convene groups by interest and offer an opportunity to strategize about implementing California’s new reforms in your communities. Click here for speaker biographies. 


  • Kiyana Asemanfar, Policy Outreach Coordinator, California Common Cause
  • Kimi Lee, Director, Bay Rising (slides)
  • Eric McGhee, Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California (slides)
  • Emily Rusch, Executive Director, CALPIRG
  • Luis Sanchez, Co-Executive Director, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (slides)
  • Presenter/moderator: Astrid Ochoa, Executive Director, Future of California Elections (slides)

Webinar: California Motor Votor (Video)
Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 11am to 11:30am

Join us for a 30-minute webinar to learn more about California Motor Voter, launching on April 16, 2018.  California Motor Voter requires the DMV to provide a seamless voter registration process for eligible voters who apply for or renew a driver’s license or state identification card, or who notify DMV of a change of address. California Motor Voter will lead to an increase in registered voters and makes voter rolls more accurate by providing a streamlined path for updating voter registration information.


  • James Schwab, Deputy Secretary of State, Policy & Planning
  • Lori Shellenberger, Voting Rights Strategist
  • Moderator: Astrid Ochoa, Executive Director, Future of California Elections

Webinar: The Voter’s Choice Act: Changing When, Where and How We Vote (Video)
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 from 2pm to 3pm

Future of California Elections is launching a new coalition, Voter’s Choice California, to help prepare voters for the big changes coming to California elections. Starting in 2018, voting will change in select counties implementing a new law, the Voter’s Choice Act. Watch this webinar to learn more.


  • Astrid Ochoa, Interim Executive Director, Future of California Elections
  • Catherine Hazelton, Voter’s Choice California Consultant, Future of California Elections
  • Rachel Sherman, Project Coordinator, Future of California Elections
  • Robyn Orsini, Vice-President, League of Women Voters of Napa County

Webinar: Designing for Democracy (Video) (Accessible Transcript)
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 from 11am-12pm

The Designing for Democracy webinar featured presentations from election officials and design experts who have redesigned voter information guides to improve the voter experience. Learn what works and doesn’t work for voter information guides, including lessons learned from the June Primary and new templates for the November General.


  • Gail Pellerin, County Clerk/Registrar of Voters, Santa Cruz County (slides)
  • Ben Hamatake, Community Outreach Manager, Orange County Registrar of Voters (slides)
  • Allison Denofrio, Assistant County Clerk & Registrar of Voters, Shasta County (slides)
  • Whitney Quesenbery, Co-Director, Center for Civic Design (slides)
  • Moderator: Astrid Garcia Ochoa, Deputy Director, Future of California Elections

Post-Election Panel (Video)

Thursday, June 9 from 2pm-3:30pm

The post-election panel reviewed the recent primary election from an electoral administrative perspective.


    • Remarks from Secretary of State Alex Padilla
    • Kim Alexander, California Voter Foundation
    • Deanna Kitamura, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California
    • Paul Mitchell, Political Data
    • Fred Nisen, Disability Rights California (slides)

Webinar: Registering to Vote at the DMV – Changes this Election Cycle (Video) (Accessible Transcript)
Thursday, May 12 2pm to 3pm

In April 2016, the DMV changed its voter registration process for applicants seeking a driver’s license and ID card. These changes come in advance of the implementation of automated voter registration reform expected in 2017 under AB 1461.  With so many changes happening at the DMV it is important that voters know the steps they need to take to ensure they are registered with their political party preference and their language preference for election materials. This webinar will discuss the recent changes at the DMV, the importance of DMV compliance under the National Voter Registration Act and the importance of voter education to ensure voters register correctly.


      • Ofelia Medina, Director of State Civic Engagement Policy, NALEO Educational Fund (slides)
      • Trudy Schafer, Senior Director for Program, League of Women Voters of California (slides)
      • Lori Shellenberger, Voting Rights Director, ACLU of California (slides)
      • Paul R. Spencer, Staff Attorney for Voting Rights, Disability Rights California (slides)
      • Moderator: Astrid Garcia Ochoa, Deputy Director, Future of California Elections (slide)

Webinar: Funding Democracy: The Future of Sustainable Election Funding and Governance (Video) (Accessible Transcript)
Tuesday, May 10 11am to 12noon

Funding for elections is essential to strengthening California’s democracy, yet election administrators face rising costs and significant barriers, including replacing aging voting systems. This panel explores the true costs of elections and strategies for providing adequate and sustainable funding for elections in California.


      • Kim Alexander, President and Founder, California Voter Foundation (slides)
      • Cathy Darling Allen, County Clerk/Registrar of Voters, Shasta County (slides)
      • Caitlin Maple, Research Analyst, California Forward (slides)
      • Pamela Smith, President, Verified Voting Foundation (slides)
      • Moderator: Ofelia Medina, Director of State Civic Engagement Policy, NALEO Educational Fund

Webinar: Districting What? Understanding the Power of Line Drawing in Your Community (Video) (Accessible Transcript)
Tuesday, April 26 11am to 12noon

More and more local governments in California are moving from at-large elections to district-based elections, and we are halfway to 2021 redistricting. Learn the community and administrative processes involved in line-drawing and how the process helps community organizations engage local residents.


      • Denise Hulett, National Senior Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
      • Connie Malloy, Program Director, The James Irvine Foundation and Commissioner, California Citizens Redistricting Commission (slides)
      • Michael Vu, Registrar of Voters, San Diego County (slides)
      • Kathay Feng, Executive Director, California Common Cause (Moderator)

2015 FoCE Fall Forum (Video)

Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Location: UC Center Sacramento
Time: 12pm-1:30pm


    • Kim Alexander, California Voter Foundation (slides | Accessible RTF)
    • Jill LaVine, Sacramento Registrar of Voters (slides | Accessible RTF)
    • Mindy Romero, California Civic Engagement Project UC Davis Center for Regional Change (slides | Accessible RTF)
    • Lori Shellenberger, American Civil Liberties Union
    • Vince Hall, Future of California Elections (Moderator)

Make Sure Every Vote Counts! Panel on Vote By Mail in California

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Time: 12-1:30 PM
Location: UC Center Sacramento

With the growing popularity of vote-by-mail in California it is important to understand who are vote-by-mail voters and what barriers may exist to casting a successful vote-by-mail ballot. The panel will highlight new research on the demographics of vote-by-mail users and non-users as well as discuss the common errors that result in an unsuccessful vote-by-mail ballot and offer possible solutions to make sure every vote counts.


  • Kim Alexander, California Voter Foundation
  • Jill LaVine, Sacramento County Registrar
  • Mindy Romero, California Civic Engagement Project, UC Davis Center for Regional Change
  • Karla Zombro, California Calls
  • David Lesher, Public Policy Institute of California (Moderator)