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California State Capitol (Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Public Officials Credit Voter Choice Act for high Voter Turnout

The Act “Modernizes Election Voting”

By Sean Brown, December 4, 2018 2:21 pm

After more than 68 percent of registered voters cast a ballot during the 2018 midterm election, the public has officially set a record for the largest voter turnout within Sacramento County history.

According to the Cap City Radio, “Sacramento County Registrar of Voters Courtney Bailey-Kanelos credits the new Voter’s Choice Act. Under the law every voter gets a mail-in ballot and vote centers replace neighborhood precincts.”

Passed in 2016, public officials anticipated that the Voters Choice Act would “modernize elections in California by allowing counties to conduct elections under a new model which provides greater flexibility and convenience for voters” and it appears that is happening.

Furthermore, it allows voters to choose how, when, and where to cast their ballot by designating more traditional options such as mailing in voter ballots, while also expanding in-person early voting and “allowing voters to cast a ballot at any vote center within their county.”

The County Registrar also noted that the number of mail in ballots, 93 percent this year, has been increasing every year as well as the number of drop off ballots which is part of the new Voter’s choice Act.

“One of our big tasks in 2019 will be to procure more locations that have bigger space and also are more well known by the community,” Bailey-Kanelos said. “The libraries for instance were very popular locations.”

In addition to Sacramento, Madera, Napa, Nevada and San Mateo Counties all used the Voter’s Choice Act for 2018 and a plethora of other cities are expected to do the same for 2020.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg commented on the rise in voter turnout saying “this is great news! The Voters Choice Act is working as hoped in Sacramento. I’ve always wondered why we don’t vote on weekends, and now we can! This is a win for democracy.”

Sean Brown

Before becoming a writer for the California Globe, Sean served as a Legislative Director in the New York City Council and is an NYU alumnus.
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