Voting Access Scorecard – The franchise project

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Voting Access Scorecard - California

The Franchise Project’s Voting Access Scorecard ranks how accessible voting is in California. The Voting Access Scorecard measures the accessibility of American elections by analyzing state election laws and practices. Each state’s performance is based on 30 measurable metrics shown to affect accessibility and foster participation. All metrics are weighted equally to fairly assess all states and their practices. If answered in the affirmative, each metric is worth 1 point, for a total of 30 points. Note that if a practice varies by county or municipality, e.g. the number of early voting locations in Wisconsin, the state only received 0.5 points for that metric. Note: Y=Yes, N=No, and V=Varies by Municipality/County.

Currently, California ranks 6. Nice! But there's still more you can do to make sure everyone has the right to vote. Take action now!

Overall score: 22.5 / 30

Y=Yes, N=No, V=Varies by County/Municipality

State registration deadline is the Friday before Election Day or later
California will enact same-day registration in 2017. Cal. Elec. § 2102: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=ELEC&division=2.&title=&part=&chapter=2.&article=1.
Y
State offers Election Day registration
California will enact same-day registration in 2017. Cal. Elec. § 2102: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=ELEC&division=2.&title=&part=&chapter=2.&article=1.
Y
State has automatic registration
California Assembly Bill No. 1461: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB1461
Y
State does NOT create barriers to voter registration by third parties (e.g. allows third party registration, does not require registration drive training or notification)
California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/publications-and-resources/guide-vr-drives/
N
State does NOT impose fines or criminal penalties for negligent/accidential voter registration mistakes
California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/publications-and-resources/guide-vr-drives/; Cal. Elec. Code § 18103: http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/elections-code/elec-sect-18103.html
N
State offers early voting/in-person absentee voting in multiple locations per municipality/county
Early voting locations are determined at the county level. California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/prior-elections/statewide-election-results/general-election-november-4-2014/early-voting-ballot-drop-locations/
V
State offers early voting/in-person absentee voting during evenings and/or weekends
Early voting hours are determined at the county level. California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/prior-elections/statewide-election-results/general-election-november-4-2014/early-voting-ballot-drop-locations/
V
State allows no-excuse early voting/in-person absentee voting
California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/prior-elections/statewide-election-results/general-election-november-4-2014/early-voting-ballot-drop-locations/
Y
State holds all elections entirely by mail
California counties have the option, beginning in 2018, to hold elections by mail. Cal. Elec. Code §3017: http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/elections-code/elec-sect-3017.html Cal. Elec. Code §4005: http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/elections-code/elec-sect-4005.html
V
State does NOT require an excuse to vote by mail
California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/vote-mail/
Y
State deadline to return absentee ballot is NO earlier than Election Day (via any type of delivery)
California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/vote-mail/
Y
State allows all voters to sign up to vote by absentee permanently
Cal. Elec. Code §3200: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=ELEC&division=3.&title=&part=&chapter=3.&article=
Y
State allows voters to request vote by mail ballot online
California Secretary of State: http://elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov/vote-by-mail/pdf/vote-by-mail-application.pdf
N
State allows voters to register online
California Secretary of State: http://registertovote.ca.gov/
Y
State allows voters to check their Election Day polling location online
California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/polling-place/
Y
State allows voters to check their vote by mail status online
California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-status/
Y
State does NOT require a Photo ID to vote on Election Day
California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/voting-california/where-and-how-vote/#id
Y
State does NOT require a Photo ID to vote early or by mail
California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/vote-mail/
Y
If ID required, State allows voter to vote through alternative process that does not require voter action (Note: full points received if no ID required at all)
California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/voting-california/where-and-how-vote/#id
Y
During voter maintenance process, if address has not changed, state allows voter to simply mail back confirmation form
Cal. Elec. § 2225: http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/elections-code/elec-sect-2225.html
Y
State is NOT a member of Interstate Crosscheck
Bryan Caskey, Kansas Secretary of State, Director of Elections (email communication, May 24, 2017)
Y
State is Member of ERIC
ERIC, http://www.ericstates.org/whowear John Lindback, ERIC Executive Director (email communication, May 25, 2017)
N
State refused to comply with the Pence-Kobach voter registration data request
California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/administration/news-releases-and-advisories/2017-news-releases-and-advisories/secretary-state-alex-padilla-responds-presidential-election-commission-request-personal-data-california-voters/
Y
State allows individuals to vote when their sentence is complete
Cal. Const. Art. II, § 4: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=CONS&division=&title=&part=&chapter=&article=II
Y
State allows individuals to vote during their term of incarceration
While felons in prison cannot vote, felons in county jails can vote. Cal. Const. Art. II, § 4: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=CONS&division=&title=&part=&chapter=&article=II Cal. Elec. § 2101: http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/elections-code/elec-sect-2101.html
N
State allows individuals to vote after incarceration, while on probation or parole
Individuals can vote while on probation, but not while on parole. Cal. Const. Art. II, § 4: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=CONS&division=&title=&part=&chapter=&article=II
N
State voting technology requires a paper trail
Cal. Elec. § 19250(a): http://law.justia.com/codes/california/2005/elec/19250-19253.html
Y
State requires poll worker training
Cal. Elec. § 12309: http://codes.findlaw.com/ca/elections-code/elec-sect-12309.html
Y
State law requires voting machines to meet federal standards, testing by a federally accredited laboratory, or federal certification
California Secretary of State: http://elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov//pdfs/california-voting-system-standards.pdf
Y
State provides readily accessible voting technology information
California Secretary of State: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-systems/
Y

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