After years of technology glitches and vendor problems, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla made it official Monday: the state’s new voter registration database is finally complete. Padilla’s certification of VoteCal as the system of record for voter registration in California clears the way for the state to begin pre-registering 16- and 17-year-olds via paper registration forms. Starting in January, people will be able to register to vote on Election Day. Also, Monday’s announcement checks off a requirement of 2015 legislation to offer automatic registration of voters at the DMV when they apply for a new license or file a change of address . That system is scheduled to working by July 2017.
And more immediately, VoteCal makes possible a voter registration and polling place lookup tool. People who cast mail or provisional ballots for the Nov. 8 election will be able to verify that their ballots were counted.
“This project is over a decade in the making, but it will pay dividends for California voters for years to come,” Padilla said in a statement Monday. “VoteCal will enable many improvements in future elections, including Election Day voter registration and the New Motor Voter Act.”