VoteCal News

February 28, 2017

The SOS is now using VoteCal to support the California Online Voter Registration (COVR) website which expands the online voter registration services available to the public.  Registrants using the COVR website can now change the language they are using to complete their registration at any time during the registration process.  During the registration process, registrants can opt out of receiving printed copies of the state and county voter information guides and choose to receive them electronically instead.  In addition, the COVR website can now be used by 16 and 17  year olds to pre-register to vote.

January 4, 2017

Several important milestones have been accomplished for the VoteCal project.  Based on the successful implementation of VoteCal, the SOS recently certified to the federal Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) that California was fully compliant with the provisions of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).  The SOS and county election officials successfully used VoteCal to conduct the November 8, 2016 General Election.  Prospective voters were able to utilize VoteCal’s My Voter Status page on the SOS’ website to check the status of their registration for the election and identify their preferences for receiving state and county voter information guides.

In the coming months, the SOS will utilize VoteCal to add additional online services for voters.  The SOS will also continue to modify VoteCal to support changes in election law.

September 26, 2016

The SOS has declared VoteCal to be the system of record for voter registration in California. The SOS thanks county elections officials and their staff, the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials’ Business Process Committee (the BPC), the EMS vendors, and the VoteCal project team for working together to achieve this important milestone. In the coming months, the SOS will continue to work to improve VoteCal and provide VoteCal with the functionality required to support upcoming changes in election law.

August 11, 2016

The VoteCal project team, the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials’ Business Process Committee, and county elections officials successfully completed a second Mock Election using VoteCal.  The Mock Election is part of the SOS’ on-going effort to prepare VoteCal to be the State’s system of record.

June 28, 2016

The VoteCal Project Team has been conducting several activities to prepare VoteCal to be the State’s system of record.  These include a mock election, on-going performance testing, verifying functionality, and analyzing and monitoring data.  To ensure that VoteCal functions as designed, the SOS has decided to continue these activities beyond the original June 2016 timeframe for declaring VoteCal to be the State’s system of record.  The SOS now expects to declare VoteCal as the system of record in August 2016.

April 26, 2016

The VoteCal project team – working closely with county election officials and the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials’ Business Process Committee – recently used VoteCal to conduct a Mock Election.  The objectives of the Mock Election were to test VoteCal to validate that VoteCal will function as designed during an election.  56 counties participated in the Mock Election, and the project team is currently assessing the results.  

March 1, 2016

Monterey and Stanislaus counties have recently gone live on VoteCal.  All 58 counties are now live and the deployment waves are complete. This is a significant achievement for both the VoteCal project team and the counties, each of whom worked diligently to prepare for and go-live on VoteCal. Even though all counties are live, many tasks must be completed before VoteCal can be certified as the State’s system of record in June 2016. These include a mock election, on-going performance testing, and analyzing and monitoring the data in VoteCal. The VoteCal project team, with assistance from county election officials, will focus on these activities in the coming months.

February 19, 2016

Seven counties have recently gone live on VoteCal.  They include Alameda, Humboldt, Riverside, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma.  A total of 56 counties are now live.

February 8, 2016

Imperial, Kings, and Yolo counties have recently gone live on VoteCal. 49 counties are now live, and the Wave 4 deployments are complete.

January 22, 2016

Eight additional counties have recently gone live on VoteCal.  They include Contra Costa, Madera, Marin, Merced, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Tuolumne, and Ventura.  A total of 46 counties have been deployed on VoteCal to date.

December 16, 2015

The VoteCal project team recently completed the Pilot Phase (Phase V) of the project.  The project team continues to focus on the county wave deployments included in the Deployment Phase (Phase VI), and is preparing to maintain VoteCal after it becomes the system of record by conducting Maintenance and Operations (Phase VI) activities. The overall project remains on schedule for VoteCal to become the State’s system of record in June 2016. 

December 15, 2015

Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Los Angeles, and Napa counties are now live on VoteCal.  38 counties are live, and the Wave 3 deployments are complete. 

December 10, 2015

The VoteCal project team recently completed the Test Phase (Phase IV) of the project.   The Pilot and Deployment phases (Phases V and VI) remain in progress, and the overall project is on schedule for VoteCal to become the State’s system of record in June 2016.

December 1, 2015

Three counties – San Bernardino, San Diego, and Trinity – have recently gone live on VoteCal.  33 counties are now live, and the Wave 2 deployments are complete.

November 17, 2015

Nine additional counties have gone live on VoteCal.  These include Calaveras, Del Norte, Lassen, Modoc, Inyo, Lake, Plumas, Shasta, and Sierra counties.  A total of 30 counties have been deployed on VoteCal to date.

November 10, 2015

On November 6, 2015, Nevada and San Luis Obispo went live on VoteCal.  21 counties are now live, and the Wave 1 deployments are complete.

October 19, 2015

On October 19, 2015, seven additional counties went live on VoteCal. These include two Wave 1 counties (Butte and Placer) that went live on their original deployment dates, and five counties from Waves 2 and 5 that went live ahead of schedule (Amador,Mariposa, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba). The three remaining Wave 1 counties will go-live when acceptance testing of their EMS (DIMS) is completed.

September 30, 2015

The third DIMS Pilot County – Mendocino – is now live on VoteCal.  This development is an important milestone for the VoteCal project.  A total of 12 counties are now live on VoteCal, including all pilot counties.  The VoteCal Deployment Status page lists the counties that are currently live, along with those that are scheduled for upcoming wave deployments.

September 14, 2015

Four counties have recently gone live on VoteCal. Two DFM counties - Colusa and Mono - went live on August 31, 2015. In addition, two DIMS Pilot Counties - El Dorado and Solano – recently went live.  This is a significant achievement for the VoteCal project, the EMSs, and the pilot counties. 11 counties are now live, and both EMSs (DIMS and DFM) have counties in production.       

August 25, 2015

On August 24, 2015, Alpine, San Benito, Santa Barbara, and Tulare counties went live on VoteCal.  In total, 7 counties are now live on VoteCal.  Refer to the deployment status page page for the status of the county deployments.

August 20, 2015

The VoteCal project remains on schedule and several counties are approaching their deployment dates. 

Five DFM Wave 1 counties have agreed to go live ahead of their original deployment date.  San Joaquin went live on August 17, 2015.  Alpine, San Benito, Santa Barbara, and Tulare counties are scheduled to go live on August 24, 2015.  Their early go-lives have been made possible due to the go-live of the DFM pilot counties (Orange and Sacramento) on July 20, 2015.  The counties have also completed their implementation readiness activities ahead of schedule.

The remaining Wave 1 counties are scheduled to go live on their original October 19, 2015, Wave 1 deployment date.  Refer to the deployment status page for the status of the VoteCal deployment waves.

July 20, 2015

On July 20, 2015, Orange and Sacramento counties became the first of the five pilot counties to go live on VoteCal.  This important milestone is the first step in the effort to deploy VoteCal to all California counties. The remaining pilot counties (El Dorado, Mendocino, and Solano) are scheduled to go live on VoteCal on or before August 24.  VoteCal deployment to the non-pilot counties will begin in October 2015.

June 9, 2015

The VoteCal project recently conducted implementation orientation sessions with the VoteCal pilot counties (El Dorado, Mendocino, Sacramento, San Diego and Solano) in preparation for the July 2015 pilot implementation. Each session focused on implementation planning and business process analysis. The team is currently scheduling regional implementation orientation sessions to prepare the counties in Waves 1, 2, and 3 for VoteCal implementation.  The project remains on schedule for the July 2015 pilot deployment.

April 6, 2015

The VoteCal project team recently completed the Development Phase (Phase III) of the project.  This important milestone occurred approximately three months ahead of schedule.  The Test Phase (Phase IV) and Pilot Phase (Phase V) are currently underway, and the project remains on schedule for the July 2015 pilot implementation

March 2, 2015

The VoteCal project remains on schedule for the June 2015 pilot and the October 2015 through March 2016 deployment waves. The project team continues to test VoteCal and recently initiated the first phase of user acceptance testing (UAT).  During this process, SOS users will work with the VoteCal project team to execute nearly 3,000 test cases to validate that VoteCal functions as designed.  The second phase of UAT, which is scheduled to begin in April 2015, will include elections staff from the VoteCal pilot counties.  Refer to the VoteCal test approach for an overview of the testing process.

February 3, 2015

The VoteCal project remains on schedule to become the statewide system of record in June of 2016. The project team is focused on testing VoteCal and the remediated Election Management System’s in the counties.  The VoteCal testing approach is multi-phased and consistent with industry best practices by conducting in depth testing including: system testing of individual functions, system testing of the end-to-end functions, system integration testing, data integration testing, performance testing, user acceptance testing, and testing of the current Calvoter system to ensure it functions properly until VoteCal becomes the system of record.  The graphic below illustrates the different phases of VoteCal testing and the test schedule.

VoteCal Test Approach Image

October 14, 2014

The Secretary of State released a draft schedule in May 2014 for deploying VoteCal in all 58 California counties. Following feedback from county elections officials, the final VoteCal deployment schedule is as follows:

  • Pilot: El Dorado, Mendocino, Orange, Sacramento, Solano (July 2015).
  • Wave 1: Alpine, Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Nevada, Placer, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare (October 2015).
  • Wave 2: Amador, Del Norte, Lassen, Mariposa, Modoc, Mono, San Bernardino, San Diego, Sierra, Sutter, Trinity, Yuba (November 2015).
  • Wave 3: Inyo, Lake, Los Angeles, Plumas (December 2015).
  • Wave 4: Contra Costa, Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Madera, Marin, Santa Clara, Shasta, Yolo (January 2016).
  • Wave 5: Humboldt, Riverside, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Tehama, Tuolumne (February 2016).
  • Wave 6: Alameda, Calaveras, Merced, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Sonoma, Ventura (March 2016).

Once the final county elections office is moved over to VoteCal, the system will become the official system of record for voter registration in California.

October 3, 2014

The VoteCal team recently completed Phase II, the Design Phase, of the project one month ahead of schedule.

As with many projects, work on the phases frequently overlaps and that is the case with VoteCal. The Development Phase (Phase III) and Test Phase (Phase IV) are currently underway and both are on track to be completed on schedule in 2015. The VoteCal project remains on budget and on schedule for the June 2016 deployment. For the schedule of all project phases please see the VoteCal Schedule.

June 11, 2014

When the VoteCal project is completed, it will be implemented in California’s 58 county elections offices in a series of waves beginning with a pilot phase in July 2015 and the final wave being completed in March 2016. Once the final county elections office is moved over to VoteCal, the system will become the legal, official system of record for voter registration in California.

The county elections offices were placed into different waves based on:

  • Where they are located
  • The election management system (EMS) they use
  • The number of registered voters in the county
  • The timing of locally-scheduled elections

The pilot phase will include El Dorado, Mendocino, Orange, Sacramento, and Solano counties. It will be completed by July 2015 and be followed by a three-month evaluation period to ensure VoteCal is operating as anticipated. VoteCal will then be installed in the remaining 53 county elections offices according to the following schedule (the date is when the system will be deployed and ready for use, not when the installation will begin):

  • Wave 1: Alpine, Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Nevada, Placer, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare (October 2015).
  • Wave 2: Amador, Del Norte, Lassen, Mariposa, Modoc, Mono, San Diego, Sierra, Sutter, Trinity, Yuba (November 2015).
  • Wave 3: Inyo, Lake, Los Angeles, Plumas (December 2015).
  • Wave 4: Contra Costa, Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Madera, Marin, Santa Clara, Shasta, Yolo (January 2016).
  • Wave 5: Humboldt, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Benito, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Tehama, Tuolumne (February 2016).
  • Wave 6: Alameda, Calaveras, Merced, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Sonoma, Ventura (March 2016).

This draft schedule was developed with several county elections officials and EMS officials before being provided to county elections officials in all counties in May 2014. If there are suggestions for changing the schedule, they will be considered in the coming weeks to allow the schedule to be finalized.

February 27, 2014

When it is completed in 2016, VoteCal will allow Californians visiting the Secretary of State’s website to more easily submit a voter registration application, update their voter registration record, find their polling place, check the status of their vote-by-mail or provisional ballot, and and much more - all in ten different languages.

December 10, 2013

The newly released VoteCal Overview provides an overview of how the system will benefit voters and county elections officials. Future news updates will break out the topics touched on in the overview to explore them in more detail.

September 6, 2013

The Secretary of State (SOS) will begin the VoteCal Solution Walkthrough for elections officials from 13 counties beginning on Monday, September 9, 2013. The VoteCal Solution Walkthrough will provide county elections officials with an overview of the proposed VoteCal solution and how it will impact how they handle voter registration applications and maintain the official list of registered voters. The VoteCal Solution Walkthrough is expected to run through September 13, 2013, and will serve as an excellent opportunity to receive feedback on proposed VoteCal solution from the county elections officials.

July 26, 2013

The Secretary of State (SOS), CGI, and election management system (EMS) vendors are in the process of finalizing the VoteCal integrated project schedule (IPS), which will lay out the VoteCal project's activities in detail. The IPS will identify major milestones, as well as specific tasks that CGI, the SOS, county elections officials, and the EMS vendors will be working on as we develop and implement VoteCal. The completion of the IPS is a critical step to ensure the VoteCal project remains on schedule and that each entity -- CGI, SOS, county elections officials, and EMS vendors -- is aware of its responsibilities and what others are working on.

June 14, 2013

The VoteCal project team is wrapping up the planning portion of the project, referred to as Phase I, and is transitioning to the design portion of the project, referred to as Phase II.

Phase I will conclude at the end of June, when a more detailed project schedule will be available. This schedule is significantly more detailed than the overall project schedule and will include specific segments of the project that need to be completed by the Secretary of State (SOS), CGI, and election management system (EMS) vendors.

Phase II, the design phase, will begin with a review and refinement of the VoteCal requirements and the team will begin defining how those requirements will be translated into the VoteCal system and county EMSs. Later in Phase II, the VoteCal project team will sit down with county elections officials to begin reviewing the refined requirements, the preliminary EMS design, and the total VoteCal solution.

Once VoteCal is deployed, it will represent a vast improvement over the current CalVoter system and will change the way county elections officials review voter registration applications, add and remove people from the voter registration rolls, and much more.

The VoteCal project is scheduled to be deployed by June 30, 2016.

May 17, 2013

Contracts between the Secretary of State (SOS) and election management system (EMS) vendors DIMS and DFM to remediate the systems so they correctly interact with VoteCal were approved by the Department of General Services on April 19, 2013. The EMS remediation effort is an essential component of the total VoteCal solution that will revise the county EMS to serve as the "front-end" for California's new statewide voter registration database. DIMS and DFM began working with the VoteCal project team in late April to develop the plans and schedules that will drive the VoteCal project work. These intensive planning efforts set the groundwork to develop the VoteCal solution, requirements and design with state and county stakeholders in the months ahead.

Next week, members of the VoteCal project team will attend and present a project update at the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Subcommittee on Thursday, May 23, 2013, at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting. All county election officials are encouraged to attend in person or by phone.

May 10, 2013

The Secretary of State (SOS) and the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) have created the VoteCal Business Process Committee (BPC). This group of county representatives will make recommendations to the VoteCal team regarding how county elections officials manage their elections and systems.

The BPC is designed to reflect the diversity of California's 58 counties and includes counties that are large and small, urban and rural, northern and southern, and representative of the two election management systems. The BPC is comprised of the following county representatives:

  • Los Angeles County – Dean Logan
  • Orange County – Neal Kelley
  • Sacramento County – Jill LaVine
  • Sacramento County – Roberta Kanelos
  • San Diego County – Michael Vu
  • Santa Barbara County – Joe Holland
  • Santa Cruz County – Gail Pellerin
  • Solano County – John Gardner (Chairperson)
  • Tehama County – Bev Ross
  • Yuba County – Terry Hansen

The SOS and BPC will be working together throughout the term of the VoteCal Project.

May 3, 2013

The Secretary of State (SOS) introduced members of the VoteCal project team to the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Subcommittee at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Thursday, April 25, 2013. All county elections officials were invited and many who could not attend in person did so by phone.

The VoteCal project team, joined by representatives from two of the election management systems, presented an overview of the VoteCal solution and the timeline for implementation. Some of the items that will be in the final VoteCal solution include:

  • Allowing county elections officials to access the system using their current EMS.
  • The ability to detect duplicate registrations immediately, triggering the county that is home to the most recent registration to initiate the transfer.
  • Allowing confidentially registered voters (those who, for public safety reasons, are permitted by law to register to vote confidentially) will be entered into the system, tracked, and managed, all without compromising their confidential status.
  • Allowing message queue and new registration records to be processed in real time.
  • Generating the Report of Registration.
  • Providing users with read-only access to the data for registered voters within other counties, including historic voter activity data, historic voting participation data, historic affidavit images and historic signature images for registrants.
  • Automatically submitting data for new voter registrations, re-registrations, and most updates to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or the Social Security Administration for validation.
  • Capturing and storing the following vote-by-mail (VBM) data for registered voters for every election:
    • When a voter was sent a VBM ballot.
    • How the VBM ballot was transmitted to the voter.
    • When the returned VBM ballot was received by the elections official.
    • How the VBM ballot was returned (e.g., mail, fax, in-person at polling place, etc.)
    • Whether the VBM ballot was accepted or rejected.
    • If the VBM ballot was rejected, why it was rejected.

For additional information regarding the VoteCal functional and technical requirements, please refer to the VoteCal RFP Section VI, pages 18-141.

April 24, 2013

The Secretary of State (SOS) will introduce members of the VoteCal team to the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Subcommittee at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Thursday, April 25, 2013. The VoteCal team will present an overview of the VoteCal project to the Subcommittee and will be joined by representatives from two of the election management systems to answer questions.

April 16, 2013

The Secretary of State (SOS) will host an internal VoteCal Project Kick-off meeting on Friday, April 19, 2013. While the CGI team has been at the Secretary of State's office since late March, this internal kick-off is designed to formally introduce the CGI project team to the agency and to provide a project overview.

Next week, key VoteCal SOS and CGI project team members will be formally introduced to the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Subcommittee on Thursday, April 25, 2013, at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting. This introduction will also include a project overview.

March 22, 2013

CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. (CGI) has been selected to develop California's new statewide voter registration database, known as VoteCal. The Department of General Services approved the contract on March 6, 2013, and work on the project is now underway. The VoteCal project team will be reformulating the working groups with county elections officials and additional information will be available soon. If you have any questions, please contact our office at VoteCal@sos.ca.gov.

January 4, 2017

Several important milestones have been accomplished for the VoteCal project.  Based on the successful implementation of VoteCal, the SOS recently certified to the federal Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) that California was fully compliant with the provisions of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).  The SOS and county election officials successfully used VoteCal to conduct the November 8, 2016 General Election.  Prospective voters were able to utilize VoteCal’s My Voter Status page on the SOS’ website to check the status of their registration for the election and identify their preferences for receiving state and county voter information guides