FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2016
CONTACT: Sam Mahood
Secretary of State Padilla Certifies VoteCal Statewide Voter Registration Database
SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla has certified VoteCal as the system of record for voter registration in California. VoteCal is California’s statewide, centralized voter registration database, connecting all 58 counties with the Secretary of State’s office. The statewide database will improve the voter registration process.
“VoteCal modernizes the California voter experience,” Secretary of State Padilla said. “Through VoteCal, California citizens can now visit one website to verify the status of their voter registration, find their polling place, and beginning this November check if their vote-by-mail or provisional ballot was counted. VoteCal allows elections officials to continue improving the voter experience in future elections.”
“I will continue working with county elections officials to ensure that the security and performance of VoteCal is working as designed. Connecting all 58 counties through VoteCal will help elections officials throughout the state accurately and efficiently maintain voter rolls,” Padilla added.
“This project is over a decade in the making, but it will pay dividends for California voters for years to come,” Padilla added. “VoteCal will enable many improvements in future elections, including Election Day voter registration and the New Motor Voter Act.”
The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 has required all states to implement a single, uniform, centralized, computerized statewide voter registration system. VoteCal finally fulfills that requirement.
“My Voter Status” Website
Californians now have access to a one-stop online hub allowing them to:
- Register to vote
- Check their voter registration status
- Find their polling place
- Beginning with the November 8, 2016 General Election, check if their vote-by-mail or provisional ballot was counted by their county elections official and, if it was not, why not
- Opt-out of being mailed the state Voter Information Guide
The “My Voter Status” website is available at: https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/
Same Day Voter Registration
Beginning in 2017, elections officials will offer Californians the opportunity to register to vote on Election Day in their county office.
Security & Testing
VoteCal underwent lengthy exercises and testing—including security audits, accuracy testing, and a performance review of the system in simulated-election environments.
VoteCal employs multilayer security measures at both the state and county levels. To access voter registration data through VoteCal, county elections officials and staff must meet security protocols put in place by the state.
Pre-Registration of 16- and 17-year-olds
Previously, only 17-year-olds who would be 18 on or before the next Election Day could pre-register to vote.
The certification of VoteCal will allow 16- and 17-year-olds to “pre-register” to vote. These voter registrations will become active once the citizen has turned 18.
Sixteen- and 17-year-olds seeking to pre-register will initially be limited to using paper forms. Online pre-registration will be enabled after the November 8, 2016 General Election.
Opting Out of the Paper Version of the State Voter Information Guide
Through the “My Voter Status” portal on the Secretary of State’s website, Californians will now be able to opt-out of receiving the state Voter Information Guide in the mail. Californians who opt-out of the paper guide, will instead receive an electronic notification when the guide is available online. Please note that the Voter Information Guide is mailed by household. If a household has more than one registered voter, and only one voter opts out of receiving the guide, the household will still be mailed a Voter Information Guide.