Who We Are
In Spring 2017, Future of California Elections launched Voter’s Choice California (VCC) to help counties and voters prepare for significant changes ahead for our elections. Under the California Voter’s Choice Act (VCA), which state leaders enacted in 2016, California counties will modernize their elections, most notably by changing how, when and where many voters cast their ballots. In its first year — 2018 — a handful of California counties will switch to the new voting process. Other counties will have the option of participating starting in 2020.
Voter’s Choice California seeks to support communities transitioning to the Voter’s Choice Act. The VCC is comprised of a diverse Statewide Coalition and several Local Hubs that focus on participating counties. It is supported by Future of California Elections staff and a small Steering Committee. Our members are civil rights groups, advocates for effective government, community leaders, researchers, and many others seeking to support election administrators, engage community members, and educate voters. Ultimately, we want voting to be convenient, modern and inclusive and to see voter participation rates increase.
Mission, Goals and Strategies
Voter’s Choice California is committed to advancing effective implementation of the California Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) and broad, diverse voter participation.
The VCA aims to modernize California elections, most notably by changing how, when and where voters in participating counties cast their ballots. A similar law in Colorado led to increased voter participation, and state leaders hope to accomplish the same in California. However, In the initial years of implementation, the VCA presents some risks, including possible voter confusion and reduced participation, especially among communities already underrepresented at the polls.
Voter’s Choice California aims to address these concerns by advancing effective voter education strategies and community involvement in the design of county voting plans. For example, if diverse Californians participate in their local VCA implementation planning processes, election administrators will gain insight informing their placement of vote centers and dropboxes and their strategies for educating voters from diverse language communities.
- 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 underrepresented communities and voters with disabilities, understands how and when to cast a ballot
- Voter participation increases, particularly among underrepresented 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
The VCC is comprised of a diverse Statewide Coalition and several Local Hubs that focus on participating counties. It is supported by Future of California Elections staff.
Statewide Coalition: Key stakeholders who develop statewide strategies and outreach materials, and participate in efforts to engage and educate the public. Organizations do not need to be statewide in their scope in order to serve on the statewide coalition.
Local Hubs: Local leaders and other stakeholders who help prepare for the VCA’s changes and educate voters in specific counties or regions. Current hubs are: Bay Area, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Small Counties.
The contributions of state and local partners are absolutely critical. They bring: insights from their communities, diverse networks of people they can influence, subject area expertise, the capacity to develop materials and implement strategic priorities, and much more. Partners include:
- Civic organizations and community-based efforts, with professional staff or run by volunteers
- Service providers
- Civil rights and advocacy groups
- Voter outreach organizations
- State and local government agencies
- Community leaders, such as clergy
- Elected and appointed leaders
- Interested community members
The following organizations support effective implementation of the Voter’s Choice Act:
- Advancement Project California
- California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits)
- California Calls
- California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG)
- Center for Civic Design
- League of Women Voters Sacramento County
- Mi Familia Vota
- Rock the Vote
- UC Davis California Civic Engagement Project
The Statewide Coalition and Local Hubs are growing by the week. We encourage interested parties to consider joining these diverse partnerships that are helping prepare voters for the upcoming changes to elections under the VCA. Join the coalition here or by contacting us.
Steering Committee and Staff
Voter’s Choice California is supported by a Steering Committee and Future of California Elections staff and consultants.
Steering Committee members:
- 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
- Cathy Darling Allen, Shasta County Clerk and Registrar of Voters
- Astrid Ochoa, Executive Director, Future of California Elections
- Rachel Sherman, Project Manager, Future of California Elections
Future of California Elections is the sponsor of the Voter’s Choice California project