By: Amalia Chamorro
California has made it easier for voters to submit their ballots thanks to the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA). Approved by lawmakers in 2016, the VCA significantly changes the way voters in several California counties will cast their ballots starting with the June 5, 2018 elections.
The VCA expands voters’ options for how, when, and where they cast their ballots, authorizing 14 counties to adopt the VCA in 2018. Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento and San Mateo counties have all decided to participate.
Starting in 2018, all registered voters in participating counties will be mailed a ballot. Voters will have 3 choices for casting their ballot:
1 – Vote by Mail: You can mail your ballot as soon as you receive it.
2 – Ballot Dropbox: You can drop off your ballot at any secure ballot dropbox as soon as you receive it. No postage is required at ballot dropboxes.
3 – Vote Center: You can vote in person by visiting any vote center in your county. All vote centers will be open for at least 4 days: from Saturday, June 2 through Tuesday, June 5. Some Vote Centers will be open for 11 days starting Saturday, May 26.
Our goal is to increase voter participation by providing voters with increased flexibility to vote when and where is most convenient for them.
Turnout in mid-year elections is traditionally low. In 2014, the June primary (25%) and the November general election (42%) were at a record low. We can do better! On June 5th, local ballot measures on critical issues like early childhood education, housing, and transportation are up for voter approval, and voters will choose the top two candidates for Governor and several local seats.
As the five participating counties transition to a new voting process, it is important for voters to be informed about the new changes. As with any new program, there is always the possibility of confusion and misinformation. Your vote is too important not to get this right – get familiar with the Voter’s Choice Act to make sure your vote gets counted. See you at the ballot box!
For information and resources visit https://voterschoice.org/.
And if you’re not registered to vote or have recently moved, you can register at https://registertovote.ca.gov/.