California Secretary of State Certifies Centralized Statewide Voter Registration System

The $98 million system, called VoteCal, enables Californians to register online to vote, check the status of their ballot, and find their polling place -- all via a one-stop website.

by News Staff / September 28, 2016
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla Jessica Mulholland

After months of testing, California's centralized statewide voter registration system has been certified, the Secretary of State's Office announced Monday.

The system, called VoteCal, enables Californians to register online to vote, check the status of their ballot, and find their polling place — all via a one-stop website, https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/. Voters can also opt out of the paper-based State Voter Information Guide.

After the Nov. 8 General Election, VoteCal also will allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. Beginning in 2017, Californians will be able to register to vote on Election Day.

“VoteCal modernizes the California voter experience,” Secretary of State Padilla said in a statement. “Through VoteCal, California citizens can now visit one website to verify the status of their voter registration, find their polling place, and beginning this November check if their vote-by-mail or provisional ballot was counted. VoteCal allows elections officials to continue improving the voter experience in future elections.”

VoteCal also will eventually enable California to implement its "motor voter" registration law enacted in 2015. It will give DMV visitors the choice of registering to vote when they obtain or renew a driver's license or get a state ID card.

The last of California's 58 counties connected to VoteCal in March, and since then the system has undergone accuracy testing, simulated exercises and security audits, according to the Secretary of State's Office. The system features "multi-layer security features" and user access protocols.

The $98 million VoteCal project 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.

Padilla said earlier this year that the state will use VoteCal during California's General Election in November.

This story was originally published by TechWire.

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