Voter Participation

Voter Participation

Full Report

Executive Summary

Press Release

Fact Sheet

Study Description

Agenda

Overview

The Little Hoover Commission is reviewing voter participation in California. According to the California Secretary of State, more Californians – some 19 million – registered to vote in the November 2016 presidential election than ever before. And more of California’s registered voters – approximately 14.6 million – exercised their right to cast a vote. Despite the historic high registration and turnout for the 2016 presidential election, 25 percent of registered voters and nearly half of California’s 24.8 million eligible voters did not participate in the election.

In recent years, California lawmakers have consistently passed reforms intended to increase voter registration opportunities, improve access to the electoral process, and ensure that vote-by-mail ballots are counted, among others. Some notable reforms include pre-registration for 16-year-olds, conditional same day voter registration at certain locations, a new Motor Voter program to automate voter registration for individuals when obtaining or renewing identification cards or driver licenses with the DMV and a new option for counties to conduct all-mailed ballot elections and use vote centers and ballot drop-off locations prior to election day rather than operate polling places only on election day.

With this study, the Little Hoover Commission will review the landscape of voter participation in California to better understand who is participating in California’s elections, who is not and some of the reasons individuals who are eligible to vote do not register or turn out to cast a ballot. The Commission also will review the status of recently enacted reforms aimed at easing the voter registration process and consider what else can be done to ensure that new programs intended to make it easier for eligible Californians to vote get implemented effectively. Through its public process, the Commission also intends to study best practices in other nations, states and localities to explore and consider opportunities to further increase voter registration and turnout rates in California.

If you would like more information regarding this study, please contact Tamar Lazarus at tamar.lazarus@lhc.ca.gov or at 916-445-2125. To be notified electronically of meetings, events, or when the review is complete, please send a request to littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov. 

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			Agenda
  • October 26
    2017
    Business Meeting
    9:30 a.m., 925 L Street, Room 175, Sacramento, CA
    Business Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Business Meeting
    Thursday, October 26, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    925 L Street, Room 175
    Sacramento, CA 95814
     

    1. Business Meeting Minutes from September 28, 2017
       
    2. Presentation from Jennifer Kent, Director, Department of Health Care Services
       
    3. Closed Session
              PERSONNEL
              The Commission will meet in closed session to discuss personnel matters consistent with Government Code section 11126, subdivision (a)(1).
       
    4. Subcommittee Reports
      a.  Forest Management – Status update
           – Discussion on Draft Recommendations

      b.  Voter Participation - Status update

      c.  Artificial Intelligence – Status update
       
    5. Commission Survey
       
    6. Project Selection
       
    7. Implementation and Impact Activity
       
    8. Reports from the California State Auditor’s Office
    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    October 12, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Terri Hardy, Deputy Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, October 26, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a business meeting to hear an update on a prior Commission report and study and conduct regularly scheduled activities.  The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Conference Room 175 located on the first floor of 925 L Street in Sacramento. 

    At the meeting, the Commission will hear from Jennifer Kent, director of the California Department of Health Care Services, who will provide an implementation update on the recommendations from the Commission’s April 2016 report, Fixing Denti-Cal.  The Commission will learn about the department’s progress in achieving a 60 percent utilization goal for children and efforts to streamline and automate enrollment for dentists.

    Following this discussion, the Commission will meet in closed session to discuss personnel matters consistent with Government Code section 11126, subdivision (a)(1).  The Commission will then reconvene in open session and publically announce any actions taken in closed session consistent with Government Code section 11126.3, subdivision(f).

    The Commission will then discuss the potential recommendations for its forest management study.  The Commission will also receive status updates on two ongoing studies on voter participation and artificial intelligence.

    Following these updates, the Commission will conduct other business as detailed on the agenda.  

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Deputy Executive Director Terri Hardy at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, October 19, 2017.

  • September 28
    2017
    Voter Participation
    9:30 a.m., CPUC Hearing Room, Junipero Serra State Office Building,
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Voter Participation
    Thursday, September 28, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    CPUC Hearing Room, Junipero Serra State Office Building
    320 West 4th Street, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA  90013


    The Future of Voting in Los Angeles County

    1. Dean Logan, Registrar of Voters, Los Angeles County (Written Testimony Appendices)
       

    Evaluating California’s Readiness for Election Reforms: Opportunities & Potential Pitfalls

    1. Kim Alexander, President & Founder, California Voter Foundation  (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Jen Tolentino, Director of Policy & Civic Tech, Rock the Vote  (Written Testimony)
       

    Community Concerns and Hopes for Los Angeles’ Election Reforms

    1. James Woodson, Organizing Coordinator, California Calls  (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Rosemarie Molina, Civic Engagement Coordinator, Community Coalition  (Written Testimony)
       

    Evaluating Los Angeles County’s Readiness for Election Reforms: Opportunities & Potential Pitfalls

    1. Kathay Feng, Executive Director, California Common Cause  (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Rosalind Gold, Senior Director of Policy, Research and Advocacy, NALEO Educational Fund  (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Deanna Kitamura, Voting Rights Project Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice  (Written Testimony Attachment)
       
    4. Paul Spencer, Staff Attorney for Voting Rights, and Gabriel Taylor, Voting Rights Advocate, Disability Rights California  (Written Testimony)

    Written Comments from Members of the Public

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    September 14, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, September 28, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on voter participation and examine planned election improvements to modernize the voting experience in Los Angeles County.  The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in CPUC Hearing Room - Suite 500 of the Junipero Serra State Office Building in Los Angeles.

    At the hearing, The Commission first will hear from the registrar of voters for Los Angeles County, who will discuss plans for modernizing the voting experience in the county and discuss steps currently underway to implement the Voter’s Choice Act in 2020. Next, the Commission will hear from a panel on evaluating California’s readiness for implementing elections reforms.  The panel, consisting of representatives from the California Voter Foundation and Rock the Vote, will discuss potential opportunities and pitfalls in evaluating electoral reform implantation.  The Commission then will hear from representatives from California Calls and Community Coalition who will discuss on-the-ground perspectives on voter participation and experiences during elections.  Lastly, the Commission also will hear from a panel that will discuss the perspectives of various stakeholders in Los Angeles, representing several prominent civic engagement organizations, including: California Common Cause, NALEO Educational Fund, Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Disability Rights California. The panelists have been asked to discuss how the Los Angeles pilot of the Voter’s Choice Act would impact the communities which they represent.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing.  Public comments will be limited to three minutes per person.  The Commission also encourages written comments. 

    The Commission will convene a business meeting in the same hearing room in Los Angeles at approximately 12:30 p.m.  Members of the public will have an opportunity to make comments about Commission agenda items during the business meeting.

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, September 21, 2017.

  • May 25
    2017
    Voter Participation
    9:30 a.m., State Capitol, Room 2040, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Voter Participation
    Thursday, May 25, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 2040
    Sacramento, CA 


    Opening Remarks

    California’s Voter Participation Landscape and Lessons from Research: Potential Challenges to Implementing Election Reforms

    1. Eric McGhee, Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Mindy Romero, Director, California Civic Engagement Project, UC Davis Center for Regional Change (Written Testimony)
       

    On the Ground: Improving Voter Turnout in California Communities

    1. Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters, Orange County (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Jill LaVine, Registrar of Voters, Sacramento County (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Gail Pellerin, County Clerk, Santa Cruz County (Written Testimony)
       

    Ensuring Voting Access for Californians With Disabilities

    1. Fred Nisen, Supervising Attorney for Voting Rights, Disability Rights California (Written Testimony, Supplemental Testimony)


    BUSINESS MEETING & LUNCH – ROOM 125 


    Stakeholder Voices: Ensuring Access for All California Voters

    1. Deanna Kitamura, Voting Rights Project Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Written Testimony, Attachment)
       
    2. Ofelia Medina, Director of State Civic Engagement Policy, NALEO Educational Fund (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Dora Rose, Senior Director of Civic Engagement, League of Women Voters of California (Written Testimony)
       
    4. Lori Shellenberger, Consultant, ACLU of California (Written Testimony)
      ​​​​​​​

    Implementing California’s Elections Reforms

    1. Bill Davidson, Chief Deputy Director, Department of Motor Vehicles and Ronda Paschal, Deputy Secretary, Legislation, California State Transportation Agency (Written Testimony, Supplemental Testimony)
       
    2. James Schwab, Chief of Legislative Affairs, Office of the California Secretary of State (Written Testimony)
      ​​​​​​​

    Comments Submitted by Members of the Public

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    May 11, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, May 25, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on voter participation. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 2040 of the State Capitol in Sacramento.

    At this hearing, the Commission will review the current landscape of voters in California to better understand who is participating in California’s elections. The Commission also will consider how recent legislative reforms are expected to change the voter participation landscape and explore further opportunities to ease the voter registration process and improve voter turnout, including considering any remaining work and challenges to implementing some of the recent reforms.

    The Commission will hear from a panel of researchers about trends in voter participation in California, as well as potential unintended consequences of the state’s recent electoral reforms. A panel of local election officials will discuss both opportunities and challenges implementing some of the recently enacted electoral reforms, particularly the Voter’s Choice Act. Next, the Commission will hear from civic engagement experts and stakeholders who are actively monitoring progress of both the New Motor Voter Program and the Voter’s Choice Act. They will discuss concerns with implementation and share ideas for California’s election officials to maximize opportunities for improved voter participation, particularly for traditional underrepresented voter groups. Finally, representatives from the Department of Motor Vehicles, California State Transportation Agency and Office of the California Secretary of State will share their implementation plans and strategies.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing. Public comments will be limited to three minutes per person. The Commission also encourages written comments.

    The Commission will convene a business meeting in Room 125 of the State Capitol at approximately 11:30 a.m. The public hearing will reconvene at approximately 12:30 p.m.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, May 18, 2017. 

    Video

    Link

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		Agenda
  • October 26
    2017
    Business Meeting
    9:30 a.m., 925 L Street, Room 175, Sacramento, CA
    Business Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Business Meeting
    Thursday, October 26, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    925 L Street, Room 175
    Sacramento, CA 95814
     

    1. Business Meeting Minutes from September 28, 2017
       
    2. Presentation from Jennifer Kent, Director, Department of Health Care Services
       
    3. Closed Session
              PERSONNEL
              The Commission will meet in closed session to discuss personnel matters consistent with Government Code section 11126, subdivision (a)(1).
       
    4. Subcommittee Reports
      a.  Forest Management – Status update
           – Discussion on Draft Recommendations

      b.  Voter Participation - Status update

      c.  Artificial Intelligence – Status update
       
    5. Commission Survey
       
    6. Project Selection
       
    7. Implementation and Impact Activity
       
    8. Reports from the California State Auditor’s Office
    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    October 12, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Terri Hardy, Deputy Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, October 26, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a business meeting to hear an update on a prior Commission report and study and conduct regularly scheduled activities.  The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Conference Room 175 located on the first floor of 925 L Street in Sacramento. 

    At the meeting, the Commission will hear from Jennifer Kent, director of the California Department of Health Care Services, who will provide an implementation update on the recommendations from the Commission’s April 2016 report, Fixing Denti-Cal.  The Commission will learn about the department’s progress in achieving a 60 percent utilization goal for children and efforts to streamline and automate enrollment for dentists.

    Following this discussion, the Commission will meet in closed session to discuss personnel matters consistent with Government Code section 11126, subdivision (a)(1).  The Commission will then reconvene in open session and publically announce any actions taken in closed session consistent with Government Code section 11126.3, subdivision(f).

    The Commission will then discuss the potential recommendations for its forest management study.  The Commission will also receive status updates on two ongoing studies on voter participation and artificial intelligence.

    Following these updates, the Commission will conduct other business as detailed on the agenda.  

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Deputy Executive Director Terri Hardy at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, October 19, 2017.

  • September 28
    2017
    Voter Participation
    9:30 a.m., CPUC Hearing Room, Junipero Serra State Office Building,
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Voter Participation
    Thursday, September 28, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    CPUC Hearing Room, Junipero Serra State Office Building
    320 West 4th Street, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA  90013


    The Future of Voting in Los Angeles County

    1. Dean Logan, Registrar of Voters, Los Angeles County (Written Testimony Appendices)
       

    Evaluating California’s Readiness for Election Reforms: Opportunities & Potential Pitfalls

    1. Kim Alexander, President & Founder, California Voter Foundation  (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Jen Tolentino, Director of Policy & Civic Tech, Rock the Vote  (Written Testimony)
       

    Community Concerns and Hopes for Los Angeles’ Election Reforms

    1. James Woodson, Organizing Coordinator, California Calls  (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Rosemarie Molina, Civic Engagement Coordinator, Community Coalition  (Written Testimony)
       

    Evaluating Los Angeles County’s Readiness for Election Reforms: Opportunities & Potential Pitfalls

    1. Kathay Feng, Executive Director, California Common Cause  (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Rosalind Gold, Senior Director of Policy, Research and Advocacy, NALEO Educational Fund  (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Deanna Kitamura, Voting Rights Project Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice  (Written Testimony Attachment)
       
    4. Paul Spencer, Staff Attorney for Voting Rights, and Gabriel Taylor, Voting Rights Advocate, Disability Rights California  (Written Testimony)

    Written Comments from Members of the Public

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    September 14, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, September 28, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on voter participation and examine planned election improvements to modernize the voting experience in Los Angeles County.  The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in CPUC Hearing Room - Suite 500 of the Junipero Serra State Office Building in Los Angeles.

    At the hearing, The Commission first will hear from the registrar of voters for Los Angeles County, who will discuss plans for modernizing the voting experience in the county and discuss steps currently underway to implement the Voter’s Choice Act in 2020. Next, the Commission will hear from a panel on evaluating California’s readiness for implementing elections reforms.  The panel, consisting of representatives from the California Voter Foundation and Rock the Vote, will discuss potential opportunities and pitfalls in evaluating electoral reform implantation.  The Commission then will hear from representatives from California Calls and Community Coalition who will discuss on-the-ground perspectives on voter participation and experiences during elections.  Lastly, the Commission also will hear from a panel that will discuss the perspectives of various stakeholders in Los Angeles, representing several prominent civic engagement organizations, including: California Common Cause, NALEO Educational Fund, Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Disability Rights California. The panelists have been asked to discuss how the Los Angeles pilot of the Voter’s Choice Act would impact the communities which they represent.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing.  Public comments will be limited to three minutes per person.  The Commission also encourages written comments. 

    The Commission will convene a business meeting in the same hearing room in Los Angeles at approximately 12:30 p.m.  Members of the public will have an opportunity to make comments about Commission agenda items during the business meeting.

    If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, September 21, 2017.

  • May 25
    2017
    Voter Participation
    9:30 a.m., State Capitol, Room 2040, Sacramento, CA
    Public Hearing
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Public Hearing on Voter Participation
    Thursday, May 25, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.
    State Capitol, Room 2040
    Sacramento, CA 


    Opening Remarks

    California’s Voter Participation Landscape and Lessons from Research: Potential Challenges to Implementing Election Reforms

    1. Eric McGhee, Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Mindy Romero, Director, California Civic Engagement Project, UC Davis Center for Regional Change (Written Testimony)
       

    On the Ground: Improving Voter Turnout in California Communities

    1. Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters, Orange County (Written Testimony)
       
    2. Jill LaVine, Registrar of Voters, Sacramento County (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Gail Pellerin, County Clerk, Santa Cruz County (Written Testimony)
       

    Ensuring Voting Access for Californians With Disabilities

    1. Fred Nisen, Supervising Attorney for Voting Rights, Disability Rights California (Written Testimony, Supplemental Testimony)


    BUSINESS MEETING & LUNCH – ROOM 125 


    Stakeholder Voices: Ensuring Access for All California Voters

    1. Deanna Kitamura, Voting Rights Project Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Written Testimony, Attachment)
       
    2. Ofelia Medina, Director of State Civic Engagement Policy, NALEO Educational Fund (Written Testimony)
       
    3. Dora Rose, Senior Director of Civic Engagement, League of Women Voters of California (Written Testimony)
       
    4. Lori Shellenberger, Consultant, ACLU of California (Written Testimony)
      ​​​​​​​

    Implementing California’s Elections Reforms

    1. Bill Davidson, Chief Deputy Director, Department of Motor Vehicles and Ronda Paschal, Deputy Secretary, Legislation, California State Transportation Agency (Written Testimony, Supplemental Testimony)
       
    2. James Schwab, Chief of Legislative Affairs, Office of the California Secretary of State (Written Testimony)
      ​​​​​​​

    Comments Submitted by Members of the Public

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    May 11, 2017

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Carole D’Elia, Executive Director
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, May 25, 2017, the Little Hoover Commission will conduct a public hearing on voter participation. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 2040 of the State Capitol in Sacramento.

    At this hearing, the Commission will review the current landscape of voters in California to better understand who is participating in California’s elections. The Commission also will consider how recent legislative reforms are expected to change the voter participation landscape and explore further opportunities to ease the voter registration process and improve voter turnout, including considering any remaining work and challenges to implementing some of the recent reforms.

    The Commission will hear from a panel of researchers about trends in voter participation in California, as well as potential unintended consequences of the state’s recent electoral reforms. A panel of local election officials will discuss both opportunities and challenges implementing some of the recently enacted electoral reforms, particularly the Voter’s Choice Act. Next, the Commission will hear from civic engagement experts and stakeholders who are actively monitoring progress of both the New Motor Voter Program and the Voter’s Choice Act. They will discuss concerns with implementation and share ideas for California’s election officials to maximize opportunities for improved voter participation, particularly for traditional underrepresented voter groups. Finally, representatives from the Department of Motor Vehicles, California State Transportation Agency and Office of the California Secretary of State will share their implementation plans and strategies.

    There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the hearing. Public comments will be limited to three minutes per person. The Commission also encourages written comments.

    The Commission will convene a business meeting in Room 125 of the State Capitol at approximately 11:30 a.m. The public hearing will reconvene at approximately 12:30 p.m.

    All public notices for meetings are on the Commission’s website, www.lhc.ca.gov. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Commission Executive Director Carole D’Elia at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, May 18, 2017. 

    Video

    Link