California Common Cause Launches Election Protection Hotline and Alerts Voters to New Opportunities
LOS ANGELES, Wednesday, September 19, 2018 — California Common Cause and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law will assist voters during the November 6 election. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations will operate an Election Protection Hotline, 1-866-OUR-VOTE, for voters who have questions or experience trouble at the polls. The 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline will be answered live on Election Day by a trained, nonpartisan team. Non-English speakers who dial 1-866-OUR-VOTE will be connected to bilingual volunteers, or they may dial language-specific numbers:
- 888-VE-Y-VOTA (Spanish/English) – administered by the NALEO Educational Fund
- 888-API-VOTE (multiple Asian languages/English) – administered by APIAVote & Asian Americans Advancing Justice
- 844-Yalla-US (Arabic/English) – administered by the Arab American Institute
California Common Cause and Lawyers’ Committee have operated this call center for more than 10 years in conjunction with the national Election Protection coalition. In the 2016 general election, local hotline volunteers resolved more than 5,800 calls. Typical inquiries ranged from simple questions like where to vote to more serious cases of voter intimidation. Voters once called to complain they could not vote due to a shooting and lockdown in their neighborhood. California Common Cause will have trained poll monitors at polling places in Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County and Orange County to observe and elevate any issues from the ground.
All counties: For the first time in California, voters can register or update their registration and cast their ballot on the same day with Same Day Registration, also known as Conditional Voter Registration. If individuals forget to register or update their registration before the October 22 deadline, they can register and vote on the same day at their county elections office or at a satellite location on certain dates between October 23 and November 6. A list of Same Day Registration sites and their dates/hours of operation will be published on the Secretary of State’s website in October or voters can contact their county elections office.
Los Angeles county: Vote-by-mail voters in Los Angeles county will have a new vote-by-mail packet – including a new redesigned ballot – this fall. The vote-by-mail ballots are full face cards that are easier to read and fill out. Voters in Los Angeles county also will no longer have to pay postage to return their vote-by-mail ballot.
Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, and San Mateo counties: Under the Voter’s Choice Act, all registered voters in these five counties will receive their ballot by mail. Voters can cast this ballot by mail, at a secure dropbox, or at a vote center. Voters can also get a ballot and vote in person at vote centers during an 11-day voting period. Voters in these counties can vote at any vote center in their county. They can also access same day registration, vote with an accessible voting machine, or get election support in multiple languages. Los Angeles County will use the vote center model in 2020, and all other counties can also opt in starting in 2020.
CHECK YOUR REGISTRATION
Motor Voter: The California Motor Voter program launched at the DMV this April, allowing eligible Californians who complete a driver’s license, ID, or change of address transaction through the DMV to automatically register to vote, unless they opt out. The DMV recently reported 23,000 customers may have been registered to vote incorrectly due to processing errors. Voters who registered at the DMV are asked to double check their voter registration information at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov before Election Day.
DMV Online: The DMV allows eligible voters to begin the voter registration process online when applying for a driver’s license or ID online. Individuals who answered voter registration questions must visit a DMV office to complete the form. Voters who are unsure if they completed the process may double check their voter registration information at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov or register to vote at registertovote.ca.gov.