About

As a committee under the Secretary of State, the Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee (VAAC) is responsible for making recommendations for improving access to voting and election materials.

The VAAC is designed to advise, assist, and provide recommendations to the Secretary of State's office as to how voters with disabilities can vote independently and privately. The State's VAAC members have been influential in assisting with numerous projects, including the production of Polling Place Accessibility Guidelines. They have helped raise awareness of disability issues through their involvement in the development of the Voter Accessibility Survey and production of the Polling Place Accessibility Surveyor Training Videos.

Request for Applicants

The Secretary of State is calling for volunteers to serve as committee members on the VAAC for the 2022-2023 term. The VAAC advises, assists, and provides recommendations to the Secretary of State’s office regarding the implementation of federal and state laws relating to access to the electoral process, so every registered voter can vote independently and privately.

The VAAC membership consists of three county elections officials and five representatives from the disability community who demonstrate an interest and involvement in issues related to voting accessibility and willingness to dedicate no fewer than 20 hours per year to VAAC meetings and/or activities for a term of two years. Additionally, members may be asked to share information with organization(s) they are affiliated with.

The deadline for applications has been extended to December 17, 2021, and appointments will be announced in January 2022. Applications should be submitted via email to VAAC@sos.ca.gov.

For more information, please refer to the following Memorandum: https://elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov/ccrov/2021/october/21175rm.pdf.

 

Meetings

The next meeting of the VAAC:

Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Agenda

Meeting agendas and minutes

Contact

Secretary of State's Office
Reina Miller, VAAC Coordinator
916-695-1557
rmiller@sos.ca.gov  

 

To subscribe to meeting notices, ask questions, or give comments, the committee can be reached at the VAAC email address, vaac@sos.ca.gov, or by postal mail at

VAAC 
1500 11th Street, 5th Floor 
Sacramento, CA 95814 

Current Members

Appointed members serving from 2019-2021

  • Fred Nisen, Co-chair
  • Supervising Attorney for Voting Rights
  • Disability Rights California
  • Larry D. Smith, Co-Chair
  • Elections Coordinator
  • Riverside County Registrar of Voters
Tim McNamara
  • Assistant Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
  • Los Angeles County RRCC
  • Jacob Lesner-Buxton
  • Independent Living Resource Center
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • Sarah Funes, BA
  • Stanford, CA
Courtney Bailey
  • Registrar of Voters
  • Sacramento County 
  • Lindsie Verma
  • Redwood City, CA
  • Janet L. Bell
  • Auburn, CA

Committee Responsibilities

The VAAC is responsible under law for a number of objectives. VAAC members lead working groups in order to complete projects that accomplish committee goals. For more information about a project or working group, or to learn about how you can get involved, email vaac@sos.ca.gov.

The VAAC is responsible for working on:

  • Guidelines for reaching voters with disabilities
  • Recommendations for improving the availability and accessibility of election materials
  • Distribution of public service announcements
  • Recommendations about web accessibility
  • Promoting the voter hotlines
  • Promoting the state and local library services for voters with disabilities
  • Recommendations for improving access and participation
  • Promotion of plain language and alternative formats
  • Recommendations for pollworker training

Local VAACs

Local elections officials are encouraged to develop local voting accessibility advisory groups or Local VAACs. The SOS is currently surveying counties to see which have active advisory groups. 

County Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee Toolkit (PDF)

This toolkit offers guidelines and practices to help county elections offices establish a VAAC and create a meaningful and helpful role for it to serve voters with specific needs in your community.