NVRA Compliance at Public Assistance Agencies
and Other NVRA Voter Registration Agencies

The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires public assistance agencies, agencies serving people with disabilities, armed forces recruitment offices, and other agencies designated by the state as voter registration agencies to:

NVRA Voter Registration Agencies

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Offices

Public Assistance Agencies

State-Funded Agencies Primarily Serving Persons with Disabilities

Armed Forces Recruitment Offices

Other Agencies Designated by the Governor

SB 35 Requirements

SB 35 (Padilla), Chapter 505, Statutes of 2012, effective January 1, 2013, codifies portions of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) into state law and places new requirements on county elections officials, NVRA agencies, and the Secretary of State.

SB 35 requires voter registration agencies to do the following:

NVRA Training

SB 35 requires NVRA agencies to train employees annually and requires county elections officials to assist with training, if requested by an NVRA agency. The Secretary of State's NVRA and SB 35 training materials are available on the Secretary of State's NVRA website.

California Department of Social Services ACIN

The California Department of Social Services has issued a new All County Information Notice (ACIN) to county welfare directors and state and local NVRA agencies regarding SB 35 and NVRA compliance.

To review California Department of Social Services ACIN 1-04-13 please visit: www.dss.cahwnet.gov/lettersnotices/EntRes/getinfo/acin/2013/I-04_13.pdf.

Restrictions on Influencing Applicants

The NVRA places restrictions on how agency staff may interact with applicants when providing the opportunity to register to vote. Voter registration agency staff must not:

Late Registrations

Under the NVRA, if a voter completes a voter registration card at an NVRA voter registration agency on or just before a voter registration deadline, but elections officials do not receive the form until after the deadline, the voter is deemed to have timely registered and is eligible to vote in the election.

Voter Preference Records

All agencies designated as voter registration agencies under the NVRA must keep records of voter preferences. Under the NVRA, the agency hands out a voter registration card along with an NVRA Voter Preference Form, which asks "Would you like to register to vote today?" and provides checkboxes for the applicant to agree or decline to register to vote. Agencies keep Voter Preference Forms on file for two years.


Under the NVRA, when a person chooses to register or declines to register at one of the voter registration agencies, that information is private and must be kept confidential. Therefore, Voter Preference Forms are not public records, and the identity of the agency where a voter registers is also confidential. However, aggregate numbers of voter registrations and declinations from each voter registration agency are reportable and a matter of public record.


While the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sends monthly statistics to the Secretary of State, other NVRA voter registration agencies have not historically provided reports to county elections offices or to the Secretary of State. However, county elections officials track voter registrations at NVRA voter registration agencies by tracking the serial numbers on the voter registration cards supplied to each public assistance agency. As completed voter registration cards come back to the county, elections officials check the serial number to determine whether the card came from an NVRA voter registration agency.

National Voter
Registration Act

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