The Voter’s Choice Act (SB 450) was approved by California lawmakers in 2016 to establish vote center elections and expand voting options for how, when and where they cast their ballots.
The law requires counties to send all registered voters a ballot by mail, even if they do not request one. Voters can choose to vote in-person at early voting locations or on Election Day, or they can choose to drop their ballot off in the mail or at a secure voting location or official ballot drop box.
The VCA is an optional law. Counties can choose to adopt the new voting model. As of 2020 there were 15 counties that had adopted the Voter’s Choice Act: Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sacramento, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Tuolumne.
FoCE launched the Voter’s Choice California project in 2017 to support counties transitioning the Voter’s Choice Act. The body of work fostered collaboration between VCA counties and their local civic engagement nonprofits. Through capacity building grants, FOCE was able to build a network of partners to share best practices for VCA implementation and voter education.
- Voter’s Choice Act Implementation: Building a VCA Coalition, FoCE (2019)
- Voter’s Choice Act Legal Digest and Checklists, Voter’s Choice California/FoCE, (Updated 2020. Note: The legal digest should be updated each election cycle to reflect current election laws)
- New Electorate Study: How Did the Voter’s Choice Act Affect Turnout in 2018? New Electorate Project (2019)
- California Voter’s Choice Act: The Impact of Collaboration on the Implementation Process, Center for Inclusive Democracy, USC (2019)