Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements

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 the California Health Benefit Exchange CoveredCA.com;
    • 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.