California Voter Database VoteCal Widely Used Prior to General Election

More than 800,000 Californians used the new features enabled by the database, the Secretary of State said.

by / November 28, 2016

More than 800,000 Californians checked their voter registration online in the three days leading up the November election, according to the Secretary of State.

The ability for voters to verify their voter registration status before heading to the polls was a new feature enabled this year by VoteCal, a single, uniform, centralized voter registration database launched in September.

Absentee voters this year are also using VoteCal to check their ballot status to see if it was counted, although it is not known how many voters have used that function. Those who want to prepare for the next election cycle can opt out of receiving a paper Voter Information Guide, which 4,600 people have already done. And 16- and 17-year-olds can now "pre-register" to vote on the website.

The Secretary of State’s office used its website, as well as mobile phone apps, in an effort to educate voters about their polling location, statewide propositions and the voter guide. A quick guide to the 17 statewide propositions detailed campaign contributions and a nonpartisan analysis for each measure. The voter guide was available online in 10 languages, as well as an audio version and a video with American Sign Language.

In the two weeks before the Oct. 24 voter registration deadline, more than a million voters either registered or updated their registration though the Secretary of State’s voter registration site, a feature offered since 2012.

A $98 million project, VoteCal has been more than a decade in the making and suffered stops and starts. CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. was selected in 2013 as the system integrator for VoteCal; it was the second attempt at the procurement after the state canceled in 2010 an initial $51 million agreement with Catalyst Consulting Group because of project schedule delays, staffing issues and other factors.

This story was originally pubished by TechWire.