VoteCal Overview

When completed in 2016, VoteCal will provide a single, centralized voter registration database that will provide five major benefits to California's voters:

Publicly Available Website

Voters will be able to access certain public portions of VoteCal to:

  • Apply to register to vote or update their voter registration record
  • Find their polling place
  • See if their vote-by-mail or provisional ballot was counted by their county elections official and, if it wasn't, the reason why it wasn't

A Complete Index of Voter Registration Records

VoteCal will maintain all of the voter registration information for all voters in all 58 counties.

County elections officials will be able to research a voter's registration and voting history, store voters signature records, and much more.

A Single Place for List Maintenance Functions

"List maintenance" is the process county elections officials use to ensure their voter registration lists are up to date and accurate. County elections officials will use VoteCal to check for duplicate registrations, move a voter's record from one county to another when the voter moves, check registration records to ensure voters have not been convicted of a crime that would preclude them from voting, and much more.

Assist Local Officials in Setting Up Elections

VoteCal will be used by county elections officials to help set up their elections. This will include placing voters into election precincts, determining which local, state, and congressional districts the voters fall into, keeping track of the political party preferences of each voter, and ensuring voters receive the state voter information guide for statewide elections and sample ballot pamphlets for all elections.

Reports

California law requires county elections officials and the Secretary of State to produce a number of reports, including the Report of Registration that breaks down California's registered voters into various categories, and the Statement of the Vote issued after each state election. All of these public reports and many others will be produced through VoteCal.

How VoteCal Will Operate

To perform its many functions, VoteCal will have to interact and exchange information with many other state and county information systems:

County Election Management Systems (EMS)

County elections officials use their EMSs to register voters and update voter information. Once VoteCal is in place, that information will be fed into VoteCal. Right now, that information is uploaded nightly to the existing CalVoter system, but under VoteCal, the goal is to process the information as close to real-time as possible.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)

Voter registration applications and existing voter records are run against the CDCR database. Any applicant who is confirmed to be a felon will not be registered to vote and any existing registrant who is confirmed to be a felon will have his or her voter registration cancelled. Here is a more detailed discussion of what will cause a person who has committed a felony to have his or her voter registration application denied or his or her existing registration cancelled.

California Department of Public Health (CDPH)

Voter registration applications and existing voter records are also run against the CDPH database. Any applicant who is confirmed to be deceased will not be registered to vote and any existing registrant who is confirmed to be deceased will have his or her voter registration cancelled.

California Employment Development Department (EDD)

VoteCal will exchange information with the EDD to get address change information for voter registration records. If a voter's address has changed, his or her information will be updated in VoteCal and the voter's registration record and voting history will be transferred to the voter's new county.

California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

VoteCal will interact with the DMV for two main reasons:

  • When a voter updates his or her address with the DMV and wants to update his or her voter registration record at the same time, that information will flow from the DMV to VoteCal and then to the county elections officials.
  • When a voter applies to register to vote online, he or she has the option of using his or her signature on file with the DMV to "sign" the application. VoteCal will retrieve signatures from the DMV, append them to the voter's application, and store them for access by county elections officials.