2019 Conference Program
This page provides content presented at the Future of California Elections Annual Conference on April 11, 2019. Select video clips and presentations from the day are available by clicking the links below. Please note that not all panels were recorded and not all speakers utilized slides in their presentations.
Introduction by Rosalind Gold, Chief Public Policy Officer, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund
The Honorable Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State
Swearing-in Ceremony for the State Language Accessibility Advisory Committee and the State Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee
I. Ensuring Every Vote Counts: What Happens After Election Day? (video)
Each election cycle, we wait eagerly to hear the outcome of election contests once our votes are cast. This panel will explore what happens starting 8:01pm on election night and the subsequent steps California election officials take to ensure fair and certifiable elections. This panel will also discuss California’s new policies that are helping ensure every vote gets counted.
Moderator: Dora Rose, Senior Director for Civic Engagement, League of Women Voters of California (Slides)
Rebecca Martinez, County Clerk-Recorder & Registrar of Voters, Madera County
John Myers, Sacramento Bureau Chief, Los Angeles Times
Gail Pellerin, County Clerk/Registrar of Voters, Santa Cruz County (Slides)
Pablo Rodriguez, Founding Executive Director, Communities for a New California
II. The Voter’s Choice Act: Evaluating California’s New Voting Model (video)
The 2018 election cycle was the first opportunity to see the Voter’s Choice Act, California’s new voting model, come to life. One of the goals for the Voter’s Choice Act was to improve the voting experience by providing flexible voting options and increasing the voting period. This panel will focus on the research findings of what happened under the new voting model and will explore the impact the new law had on California’s electorate.
Moderator: Catherine Hazelton, Principal Consultant, Hazelton Strategies
David Becker, Executive Director and Founder, Center for Election Innovation & Research (Slides)
Eric McGhee, Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California (Report: “New Electorate Study: How Did the Voter’s Choice Act Affect Turnout in 2018?”)
Karthick Ramakrishnan, Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, University of California, Riverside
Mindy Romero, Founder and Director, California Civic Engagement Project, Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California (Report: “California Voter’s Choice Act: Key Considerations on Implementation“)
Census 2020 and Redistricting Outreach Resource Showcase (video). Resources shared:
- Rock the Votes’s “We Count” Video and Website
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice’s “Count Us in 2020” Website: Resources Section and fact sheet on how to apply for the Citizens Redistricting Commission
- NALEO Educational Fund’s Census 2020 “Hagase Contar” Website, Support Hotline: 877-EL-CENSO (877-352-3676), and “How the US Census Works” Video
- Census Policy Advocacy Network (CPAN) Website
- California Common Cause’s Local Redistricting Website and Citizens Redistricting Committee Website
Afternoon Concurrent Sessions Round I
A. Expanding Democracy Through Re-enfranchisement (video)
In 2016 the California legislature passed AB 2466, which re-enfranchised people in county jails and codified a superior court ruling that restored voting rights for returning citizens in community supervision. This panel is an opportunity for elections officials and advocates to discuss obstacles, solutions, and best practices for registering voters in jail and other voters impacted by the criminal justice system.
Moderator: Brittany Stonesifer, Voting Rights Attorney, ACLU of California
Jen Dean, Deputy Director, Chicago Votes (Resources: 1, 2, 3)
Jeff Klein, Manager, Voter Education Outreach & Community Relations, Los Angeles County
Daisy Ramirez, Orange County Jails Project Coordinator, ACLU of Southern California
Brendon Woods, Public Defender, Alameda County (Slides)
B. Emergency Medical Ballots: Challenges and Strategies for Improvement
Emergency Medical Ballots are an important safeguard for voters who cannot leave the hospital or their home on Election Day because of an unforeseen medical condition. These ballots, however, pose administration challenges for election officials, and requesting them is often confusing and burdensome for voters. This panel will highlight ways to improve voter access to Emergency Medical Ballots.
Moderator: Gabe Taylor, Voting Rights Advocate, Disability Rights California
John Arntz, Director, San Francisco Department of Elections (Slides)
Courtney Bailey-Kanelos, Registrar of Voters, Sacramento County
Fred Nisen, Supervising Attorney for Voting Rights, Disability Rights California (Slides; Download Accessible RTF)
Rebecca Spencer, Registrar of Voters, Riverside County
C. Census 2020 and Election 2020: Getting Out the Count and the Vote
In early 2020, there will be intense preparations for two critical events that will shape the future of California’s political life and its democracy—the state’s 2020 Presidential primary is March 3 and 2020 Census Day is April 1. This session will address how election officials can use opportunities for voter education to also conduct outreach on Census 2020. In addition, panelists will discuss how community groups can integrate efforts to mobilize residents for Census 2020 participation with non-partisan voter engagement efforts, highlighting best practices—and potential pitfalls to avoid.
Moderator: Gail Pellerin, Country Clerk/Registrar of Voters, Santa Cruz County
Diana Colin, Director of Civic Engagement, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
Lizette Escobedo, Director of National Census Program, NALEO Educational Fund (Slides)
James Schwab, Chief Deputy Secretary of State, Office of Secretary of State Alex Padilla
Afternoon Concurrent Sessions Round II
D. Expanding Community Participation: How Election Offices Can Host Effective Public Events
In the past, election offices have not routinely hosted public events like meetings, workshops, and hearings. However, changes in state laws, like the Voter’s Choice Act and the establishment of community advisory committees for language and access for voters with disabilities, require that counties to proactively host more public meetings and conduct outreach. This panel will share best practices and strategies for successful public events and outreach from around the state.
Moderator: Paul R. Spencer, Staff Attorney, Disability Rights California
Kiyana Asemanfar, Policy Outreach Coordinator, California Common Cause
Paul Burgarino, Community Services Manager, Contra Costa Clerk-Recorder-Elections Department
Brian Snyder, Disability Community Advocate, FREED-Aging and Disability Resource Connection
Jonathan Stein, Staff Attorney and Voting Rights Program Manager, Asian Americans Advancing Justice–Asian Law Caucus
Cha Vang, Executive Director, Hmong Innovating Politics
E. Protecting the Vote Through Post-Election Risk-Limiting Audits
Amidst reports of cyber-attacks on election systems, can voters trust that their votes are safe? Robust post-election audits–a hand count of a portion of the voter-marked paper ballots–are key to reassuring the public that Californians’ votes do count. This panel explains the basic ideas and designs behind risk-limiting audits, how they can benefit California voters and election officials, and strategies for promoting audits statewide.
Moderator: Pamela Smith, Senior Advisor, Verified Voting (Slides)
Cathy Darling Allen, County Clerk/Registrar of Voters, Shasta County (Slides)
Kammi Foote, County Clerk-Recorder & Registrar of Voters, Inyo County (Slides)
Noah Praetz, Member of the Election Security Initiative at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
Jackie Wu, Community Outreach Manager, Orange County Registrar of Voters (Slides)
F. Conditional Voter Registration: How Expanding Same Day Registration Can Remove Barriers to Voting (video)
This panel will discuss the implementation of conditional voter registration (CVR), also known as Same Day Registration, in the November 2018 election. Panelists will share success using satellite locations, problems experienced in areas without satellite locations, and new research on the impact of access and lack of access to CVR on historically disenfranchised communities.
Moderator: Raul Macias, Voting Rights Attorney, ACLU of California
Elisa Chang, CALPIRG Students New Voters Project Campaign Coordinator, UC Riverside
Gail Pellerin, Santa Cruz County Clerk/Registrar of Voters (Slides)
Mindy Romero, Founder and Director, California Civic Engagement Project, Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California
Ramla Sahid, Executive Director, Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (Slides)
Closing Plenary (video)
Putting the Voter First: Exploring Voter Centric Reforms and Elections Practices
California is at the forefront of election modernization efforts with the implementation of Motor Voter, Same Day Registration and the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA). These critical reforms have increased opportunities to register to vote and options for voting. This panel will explore how these reforms faired during the 2018 election cycle and highlight election practices implemented throughout California that improved the voter experience.
Moderator: Astrid Ochoa, Executive Director, Future of California Elections
Cathy Darling Allen, Shasta County Clerk and Registrar of Voters (Slides)
Elba Gonzalez, Executive Director, Community Health Initiative Napa County
Deanna Kitamura, Voting Rights Project Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus (Slides)
James Schwab, Chief Deputy Secretary of State, Office of Secretary of State Alex Padilla