By Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State
And there are some important changes that voters should be aware of as they start thinking about casting their primary ballots.
The newest is expanded Same-Day Voter Registration, which Governor Newsom signed into law just last month. Same-Day Registration is one of the most powerful tools we have to ensure every eligible citizen can cast a ballot. Here’s how the new law works:
A voter can register to vote at their local polling place on Election Day or at any early vote center or early voting location in the 10 days leading up to Election Day if their county offers in-person early voting.
After registering to vote, a new voter can immediately cast a provisional ballot.
Once a new voter’s eligibility is verified by the county, their ballot will be counted during the 30-day vote counting period following the election.
Additionally, more than half of California’s voters will benefit from the Voter’s Choice Act, which has been adopted by 15 counties. The Voter’s Choice Act is a new model for administering elections that is more secure and better for voters. Under the VCA, every registered voter will automatically receive their ballot by mail and have options for how to return their ballot: by mail, to any ballot drop box in the county, or at any vote center in their county during the 10 days leading up to Election Day or on Election Day itself.
March 3, 2020 is California’s Presidential Primary Election Day. March 3rd is also the deadline by which every county in the state must upgrade or replace their voting system to one that meets the state’s newer, higher certification standards — meaning stricter security requirements. The upgrades will help protect our elections from bad actors that seek to undermine our democracy.
More than 400,000 16- and 17-year-olds have pre-registered to vote and about half of them will turn 18 in time to vote in the March 2020 Presidential Primary Election. Once pre-registered, a young voter is automatically added to the rolls on their 18th birthday. No new forms to fill out — just show up on Election Day to cast your ballot (or vote by mail).
Finally, we are continuing to combat the spread of misinformation with VoteSure, a first-of-its kind statewide public education campaign to increase voter awareness about election misinformation online and provide official, trusted election resources.
These reforms will help more Californians become lifelong regular voters and increase participation in our democracy.
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