In 2018, the counties of Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento and San Mateo have adopted the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA). The VCA became law in 2016 to make voting more convenient and accessible. You can learn more about the new law here.
In preparation for the upcoming General Election on November 6, the Office of California Secretary of State Alex Padilla is launching a new effort to promote a key part of the VCA, vote centers. We are reaching out recruiting community groups to “adopt” a vote center and spread the word about the new options and conveniences available.
There are several ways in which an organization can adopt a vote center. For instance, in Sacramento County, the Greater Sacramento Urban League promoted their vote center on social media and created unique signage for their adopted vote center. The Urban League even organized a high school marching band to play on Election Day to further increase awareness of their location and the last day to vote.
Please follow these guidelines:
The Secretary of State will have a list of priority vote centers to adopt. These vote centers were either underused or very busy for the June 2018 Primary Election. Adopters of an underused vote centers should prioritize promotion about their existence, availability, and benefits. Adopters of a busy vote center should prioritize promotion of early voting and ballot drop off.
If a vote center you want to adopt is not on the list, please discuss with Secretary of State staff.
Some vote centers are open for 11 days and others are open for 4 days. Vote center adopters can adopt a vote center and commit to activities as long they would like. For example, you can promote the day a vote center opens, beginning days or even weeks prior to the first day of voting. However, we ask that organizations adopt a vote center for a minimum of 1 day. If you choose to adopt a vote center for the one day minimum, we strongly urge that you adopt the vote center on Election Day.
Vote Center adopters are allowed to brand any materials they create. Branding shall be nonpartisan and not support or oppose any political party, candidates for office, state propositions, or local measures.
Vote centers offer voters new conveniences and options:
The Secretary of State has created and collected VCA educational materials from all five counties into a “Toolkit” which can be found here. The Toolkit includes, but is not limited to:
Also, here are some posters you can share on your Social Media accounts. These posters are organized in the order they will be needed, starting with instructions on how to register to vote, and ending with an Election Day reminder:
Use your social media and email network to spread the word.
Social Media Ideas
Consider weather conditions, lighting, and visibility when choosing materials and placement.
Consider the timing and location of the event. Ideally, an event near or at a vote center during the time it is open.
Research shows that a personal, face to face invitation to register and vote is the most effective. Promote the vote center directly to voters.
Many voters get their information from local news sources; radio, TV and print. When you organize an event or action please reach out to local media to cover it. This can help amplify your message to a wider audience and further promote the vote center. If you would like assistance, please contact our office.
Provide volunteers at the vote center on Election Day to help manage traffic. Volunteers can help to: