What we need is fewer elections and more voters voting in California.
Our newly released report, Getting to 100%: How Changing the Election Date Can Improve Voter Turnout, shows just how our state can move in that direction with one simple policy change.
Across California, local governments are struggling with how to engage the public around elections. Turnout has plummeted in recent years, meaning that a very small fraction of the population are making important decisions about who will represent us. Case in point – between 1997 and 2013, voter turnout in Los Angeles citywide general elections decreased by a staggering 14 percent. And unfortunately, the City of Angels is not alone in this depressing trajectory.
There are many factors contributing to low voter turnout in local elections. Yet one factor in particular has been proven to increase turnout by double digits. Simply moving an election to be synchronized with the even-year state and federal elections can result in a 21-36 percent boost in local voter turnout.