FOCE 2020 Virtual Conference: Responding to This Moment in Elections
May 14, 2020, 1 to 4 p.m. PDT
Our conference has convened election stakeholders each year since 2012 to discuss the latest developments in California’s elections. This year’s conference came on the heels of California Governor Newsom’s announcement that every California voter will receive their ballot by mail this November. Our sincere thanks to the James Irvine Foundation and the Democracy Fund for their support. To view the entire conference, click here. For conference highlights only, click here.
1:00 p.m. Welcome
1:05 p.m. Opening Remarks
1:20 p.m. Panel One: Is California prepared for November 2020? (video)
Introduction by Cathy Darling Allen, County Clerk and Registrar of Voters, Shasta County, FoCE Advisory Board Member.
Voting is a cornerstone of American democracy, but the traditional election model is now threatened by COVID-19. Ensuring safe, secure, reliable, and accessible elections in an emergency environment is paramount to sustaining the democratic process. This panel will examine election policies and practices being explored to ensure voting continues this November and beyond.
- Moderator: Jessica Huseman, Reporter, ProPublica
- Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters, Orange County, California (slides)
- Fred Nisen, Supervising Attorney for Voting Rights, Disability Rights California (slides)
- James Schwab, Chief Deputy Secretary of State, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (slides)
2:05 p.m. Panel Two: What do we consider when expanding voting by mail in a state as diverse as California? (video)
Introduction by Paul R. Spencer, Staff Attorney for Voting Rights, Disability Rights California, FoCE Advisory Board Member
Expanding voting by mail is being explored in response to COVID-19. While a large percentage of California voters utilize vote-by-mail, data shows increasing disparities among who chooses or can do so. This panel will examine the challenges and opportunities presented by vote-by-mail in California, one of the largest and most diverse states in the nation.
- Moderator: Kim Alexander, President and Founder, California Voter Foundation (slides)
- Courtney Bailey-Kanelos, Registrar of Voters, Sacramento County (slides)
- Mindy S. Romero, Director, USC California Civic Engagement Project (slides)
- James Woodson, Senior Policy Manager, California Calls (slides)
3:00 p.m. Panel Three: How do we ensure language access in elections through a COVID-19 response? (video)
Introduction by Katy Flaherty, Project Coordinator, Future of California Elections
Language access is a central part of election administration in a state as multilingual as California, which is governed by state and federal language laws. This panel will cover updates in the field of language access and practical tools to support multiple language communities.
- Moderator: Jonathan Mehta Stein, Executive Director, California Common Cause
- Rosalind Gold, Chief Public Policy Officer, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund
- Julia Marks, Staff Attorney, Voting Rights and Census, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus
- Eren Mendez, Elections Outreach Coordinator, Contra Costa County
3:40 p.m. Closing Remarks (video)
Ben Hovland, Election Assistance Commission, Chair
Introduction by Guadalupe Flores, Deputy Director, Communications and Outreach, Future of California Elections
3:55 p.m. Final Reflections (video)
Astrid Ochoa, Executive Director, Future of California Elections
Follow us on Twitter @FutureCAElect and use #FoCE2020 to follow the conversation.