Voter’s Choice California
For more information, visit www.voterschoice.org
In Spring 2017, Future of California Elections launched Voter’s Choice California (VCC), a coalition of civil rights groups, advocates for effective government, and community based organizations committed to advancing effective implementation of the California Voter’s Choice Act and broad, diverse voter participation. Read the full announcement here.
In September 2018, Future of California Elections released the report Strategies for Voter Education and Outreach Under the Voter’s Choice Act. This report provides a summary of potential solutions to common outreach and education challenges faced by communities implementing the Voter’s Choice Act in June 2018. The report includes useful appendices that can help develop outreach strategies. This report is informed by Future of California Elections’ experience managing the statewide Voter’s Choice California network and the learnings from the July 2018 VCA debrief hosted in Redwood City. The Redwood City convening brought together nearly 100 participants from community organizations and county election offices from all five VCA implementing counties.
About the Voter’s Choice Act
Approved by California lawmakers in 2016, the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) expands voters’ options for how, when and where they cast their ballots. Beginning in 2018, all registered voters in participating counties will receive a ballot at home and have the option to return it by mail, place it in a secured drop box, or cast their vote in person at any voter center in their county. Vote centers will be open for at least four days through Election Day with some open for a full 11 days. They will offer additional supports such as accessible voting equipment, language assistance and translated materials; some are expected to offer same day voter registration.
The law authorizes 14 specified counties to offer the new system in 2018: Calaveras, Inyo, Madera, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sierra, Sutter, and Tuolumne. Several of the authorized counties are tentatively planning to participate, and all will decide by Fall 2017. Other counties are authorized to make the switch starting in 2020.
VCC is a project of FoCE led by a six member steering committee:
- American Civil Liberties Union of California
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice-California
- California Common Cause
- Disability Rights California
- League of Women Voters of California
- National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund
The full coalition includes statewide and regional organizations and leaders as detailed further below.
Goals of the Voter’s Choice California coalition
- Counties participating in the Voter’s Choice Act successfully administer elections that are accessible to all
- Public engagement in planning processes is robust, diverse and effective
- The public, including under-represented communities and voters with disabilities, understands how and when to cast a ballot
- Voter participation increases, particularly among under-represented communities, and voter disenfranchisement is minimal
- Develop and disseminate to counties recommendations and tools to support key elements of implementation
- Advocate for diverse public engagement in implementation planning processes and for successful administration of best practices
- Identify and engage diverse partners who can educate voters and promote participation among diverse communities
- Provide training and technical assistance to community based groups aiming to educate voters and engage them in implementation planning processes
- Develop public education materials and tools for community based organizations
How to Get Involved
The VCC statewide coalition implements the strategies outlined above at the Statewide level. If you are interested in joining the coalition or learning more, please contact VCC@futureofcaelections.org.
The VCC sponsors local hubs in counties implementing the Voter’s Choice Act. If you are interested in joining or learning more about a local hub, please contact VCC@futureofcaelections.org.
We encourage all interested parties to join the VCC listserv to learn more about the Voter’s Choice Act and receive tools you can use to help California voters prepare for upcoming elections. Click here to join.