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April 21, 2014

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

Bowen Upgrades Award-Winning Online Voter
Registration Application, Adds 8 More Languages

SACRAMENTO - Californians can more easily navigate the California Secretary of State’s online voter registration application at from mobile devices and apply in eight more languages in addition to English and Spanish, thanks to a new design unveiled today. Also among the user-friendly enhancements is a simpler, more intuitive layout and improved accessibility features for people with disabilities.

"After moving some mountains to quickly launch online voter registration in time for the 2012 presidential election season, I wanted to see what could be done to make it even better," said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, California’s chief elections official. "This enhanced application is a result of in-depth collaboration among dozens of experts in cultural, language, disability access, elections and technology issues, along with local officials and the California State University Accessible Technology Initiative. I am grateful to them all for their valuable input."

California’s official online application is not "automatic registration." Online or on paper, laws and security procedures for processing voter applications and eliminating duplicates are identical in California. While the look and feel of has been streamlined, county elections officials will still get every bit of information they need to complete the verification process. The information provided in a voter application still must be checked before an applicant can be added to the voter rolls. Voters may check registration status using the state’s convenient portal to county offices at

To reach more people in the most common languages spoken in California homes, the Secretary of State’s online registration application is now available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese. Residents of California are eligible to register if they are U.S. citizens and meet other criteria listed on the voter application. A person must re-register to vote after moving, changing names or changing political party.

Secretary Bowen launched online voter registration in 2012. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Californians have used the system to update their voter records or register for the first time.

In August 2013, the Center for Digital Government presented the California Secretary of State’s online voter registration application with its Best Application Serving the Public award.

Keep up with the latest California election news and trivia by following @CASOSvote on Twitter.