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.

Meetings

The next meeting of the VAAC:

Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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 2022-2023

  • Fred Nisen, Co-chair
  • Managing Attorney, Voting Rights Practice Group
  • Disability Rights California
  • Larry D. Smith, Co-Chair
  • Elections Coordinator
  • Riverside County Registrar of Voters
  • Courtney Bailey-Kanelos
  • Registrar of Voters
  • Sacramento County
  • Janet L. Bell
  • Auburn, CA
  • Mary Helen Gallegos
  • Monterey County Elections
  • Maria D. Coronel
  • Outreach Specialist
  • Yolo County Elections Office
  • Dianne Russell
  • Retired Annuitant for the Department of Rehabilitation
  • Veronica Elsea
  • Member of Santa Cruz County VAAC and Election Volunteer
  • Michele Guerra
  • Retired Educator

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.