By: Lisa Bartlett, O.C. Supervisor
Following the passage of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002, each state was required to create a statewide voter database. California is the last state to launch a statewide system – after a decade of delays and intervention by the federal government to force California into action.
The new system, called VoteCal, will be rolled out to all 58 counties prior to the 2016 June Primary election. To ensure that Orange County was at the forefront of VoteCal, the Orange County Registrar of Voters (OCROV) requested to serve as one of five pilot counties.
The OCROV has worked closely with the Secretary of State for 18 months on the development and business process changes needed to ensure a workable solution to a very complex system. For the last two months we have been involved in detailed user acceptance testing, which will conclude on Monday, July 20th as the database goes “live” with another pilot county (Sacramento County).
VoteCal’s many functions will provide improved service to the voters of California by:
- Connecting the Secretary of State and all 58 county elections offices together to improve the voter registration process
- Providing a publicly available website which will allow voters to register online, check the status of their ballot, and find their polling place
- Duplicate records will be detected immediately – allowing a voter who moves to avoid the re-registration process as the record is transferred to the “new” county
- Providing a single, official statewide database of voter registration information
- The responsibility for the official list of eligible voters will reside at the State level as envisioned by HAVA