Home>Articles>Voter Registration Agencies in California

Voter at polls during presidential election, using paper ballots. (Photo: Rob Crandall/Shutterstock)

Voter Registration Agencies in California

The Secretary of State must coordinate with each county elections official and voter registration agency

By Chris Micheli, February 16, 2022 2:40 pm

California law provides for voter registration agencies in Division 2, Chapter 6. Section 2400 provides that it is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this chapter, to facilitate compliance with the requirements set forth in the federal National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) relating to voter registration services.

Section 2401 defines the terms “voter preference form” and “voter registration agency.” Section 2402 provides that the Secretary of State is the chief state elections official responsible for coordination of the state’s responsibilities under the federal NVRA. In addition, the Secretary of State is required to adopt such regulations as are necessary to implement this chapter and the federal NVRA.

Section 2403 requires a voter registration agency to comply with the applicable duties and responsibilities of a voter registration agency set forth in the federal NVRA. A voter registration agency is required to provide to an applicant all of the following:

  • A voter preference form.
  • A voter registration card, unless the applicant, in writing, declines to register to vote.
  • Assistance in completing the voter registration card, unless the applicant refuses the assistance.

Section 2404 requires the Secretary of State to do all of the following:

  • Coordinate with each county elections official and voter registration agency to implement this chapter.
  • Prepare written training materials that describe the responsibilities of a county elections official and voter registration agency pursuant to this chapter and the federal NVRA.
  • Contact a voter registration agency if the agency is not complying with the requirements of this chapter and the federal NVRA.
  • Coordinate with each state agency that evaluates the performance of an agency designated as a voter registration agency.

In addition, the Secretary of State may do any of the following:

  • Conduct a review of a voter registration agency’s compliance with the requirements of this chapter or the federal NVRA,
  • Conduct a review of a county elections official’s compliance with the requirements of this chapter or the federal NVRA if the county elections official fails to timely submit a report, or if a report indicates that the county elections official is not complying with the requirements of this chapter or the federal NVRA,
  • Post the results of a review conducted pursuant to this subdivision on the Secretary of State’s Internet Web site.

Section 2405 requires a county elections official to be responsible for coordinating with the Secretary of State and each applicable voter registration agency within the county to administer the voter registration services required pursuant to this chapter and the federal NVRA. The county elections official is required to do all of the following:

  • Provide voter registration cards to a voter registration agency upon request of the voter registration agency.
  • Maintain a record of the number of voter registration cards provided to and received from each voter registration agency, and each office or site of the voter registration agency.
  • Assist a voter registration agency, upon request, in conducting a training program for its employees based on the training materials prepared by the Secretary of State on the requirements of this chapter and the federal NVRA.

Section 2406 requires a voter registration agency to do all of the following:

  • Notify the county elections official of each applicable county of the location of each of the voter registration agency’s offices or sites within the county.
  • Designate an agency employee to be responsible for the agency’s compliance with this section.
  • Request voter registration cards from the applicable county elections official, as needed.
  • Take steps to ensure that the voter registration agency, and each office or site of the voter registration agency, has a sufficient supply of voter preference forms and voter registration cards available, including voter preference forms and voter registration cards in all languages required by the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  • Ensure that each employee of the voter registration agency who may provide voter registration services completes, at least once per year, a training based on the training materials prepared by the Secretary of State on the requirements of this chapter and the federal NVRA. The voter registration agency may incorporate this training into any other training program provided by the voter registration agency for its employees.

Section 2407 requires, within 10 days after the beginning of each calendar month, a county elections official to report to the Secretary of State, on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State, the number of voter registration cards received from each voter registration agency and from each office or site. The Secretary of State must post the information contained in each report received from a county elections official on the Secretary of State’s Internet Web site.

Section 2408 provides that a voter registration agency that allows a person to apply online for service or assistance, or to submit a recertification, renewal, or change of address form relating to the service or assistance online, is required to implement a process and infrastructure that allows an applicant to electronically submit a voter preference form to the voter registration agency, and to submit an affidavit of voter registration electronically on the Internet Web site of the Secretary of State.

In addition, the Secretary of State is required to take steps to ensure that the electronic affidavit of voter registration is available, and may be electronically submitted and verified, in all languages in which a county is required to provide voting materials pursuant to the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Spread the news:

 RELATED ARTICLES

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.