County Responsibilities

Tracking NVRA Voter Registrations

To properly track NVRA registrations, county elections officials record the serial numbers of the voter registration cards (VRCs) supplied to each NVRA office or site. NVRA agencies with multiple sites in a county should coordinate distribution of the VRCs with county elections officials to ensure proper tracking.

Reporting NVRA Voter Registrations to the Secretary of State

County elections officials must report the number of voter registrations generated by each NVRA agency office or site in the county to the Secretary of State by the 10th day of every month. This report has two components and the Secretary of State has developed two reporting templates for the 58 counties that are emailed to the County Elections NVRA Coordinator each month:  a one page report with category totals for non-DMV agencies and a spreadsheet that contains a page for each county with a list of the known NVRA agency offices and sites in the county. Each county elections official should maintain an up-to-date list of the NVRA agency offices and sites in the county and add new offices and sites to the list as appropriate.

Federal Reporting to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC)

The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires states to report biennially to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) on the impact of the NVRA. Therefore, under the NVRA, county elections officials keep records and report to the Secretary of State's office the total numbers for:

  • Active and inactive* registered voters;
  • Voters in the most recent federal general election;
  • New, valid registrations received;
  • Deletions from the voter rolls;
  • Registrations (including valid, rejected, duplicate, and re-registrations) by category:
    • Mail;
    • Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV);
    • Public assistance agencies, including the CalFresh Program, formerly known as Food Stamps and federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, Medi-Cal, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program, and California's Health Benefit Exchange - Covered California;
    • State-funded agencies primarily serving people with disabilities;
    • Armed forces recruitment offices;
    • Other NVRA voter registration agencies;
    • Other (e.g., voter registration drives, political parties, petition circulators, schools, individuals);
  • Duplicate registrations by category above; and
  • Confirmation notices mailed and responses received, as required under the NVRA List Maintenance Requirements.

In 2002, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which required each state to create a statewide voter registration database. California now has a centralized voter database, which links to county voter registration databases. As a result, overall data about voter registrations is automatically fed into the statewide database at the Secretary of State's office. The database currently does not have the capability of tracking the number of new or duplicate registrations coming from the specific categories listed above. Therefore, counties must track this data separately and report it to the Secretary of State.

*Voters may be placed on "inactive" status when an elections office receives information (for example, from the post office) indicating the voter has moved and the voter has not responded to an elections office request for address confirmation. For more information on state law "change of address" and "inactive" status procedures, see California Elections Code sections 2220 to 2227.

NVRA Training

NVRA agencies must train employees annually and requires county election officials to assist with training, if requested by an NVRA agency. The Secretary of State has developed NVRA training materials for this purpose.

NVRA List Maintenance Requirements

The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires counties to do the following in order to maintain an up-to- date list of voters within the county:

  • Accept new voter registrations from Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices, as long as the registration forms were received at a DMV office by the 15-day voter registration deadline;
  • Send a notice to each newly registered voter to confirm their registration. These notices are sometimes called Voter Notification Cards (VNCs);
  • Send a notice to each voter who moves and leaves a forwarding address with the post office. These notices are sometimes called California Residency Confirmation Postcards (CRCPs); and
  • Place voters on inactive status if they have moved and not responded to an address confirmation request. The NVRA prevents elections officials from removing these voters from the voter list and placing the voter on inactive status until two federal general elections have passed and the voter has not voted. State law also contains change of address and inactive procedures in California Elections Code sections 2220 to 2227.