Greg Diaz: Voter’s Choice Act – Sign Up for the Voter Education Workshops

August 12, 2017 – Three workshops to educate Nevada County voters on critical aspects of next year’s new voting processes under California’s Voter Choice Act take place on August 29th, however signups must be received by August 18th.

Signups can be made with the Nevada County Elections Office by phone at 530-265-1298, or by email at elections.mail@co.nevada.ca.us. If you miss this deadline, do not fret. Give us a call or send an email and we will sign you up.

The workshops are an integral part of the new elections process that begins in 2018. The new process will make it easier to vote, will reduce the costs of elections and make the voting process even more secure than it has been. All workshops take place in the Providence Mine Room at the Nevada County Rood Center.

The first workshop, at 9:30 a.m. on the 29th, will address Voter Education and Outreach. It will include a detailed explanation of how the Elections Office will use a comprehensive outreach program utilizing social media, newspapers, radio and television to inform voters of the new process. This session should be valuable for any voter who wishes to understand the new election process, and it will also be useful to those who may wish to participate in the elections process itself.

At 10:30 a.m. a workshop on Language Accessibility takes place, with emphasis on how the new voting process can be utilized effectively by voters for whom English is a second language.

Then, at 2 p.m., a workshop on Voting Accessibility begins, providing detailed information on how our office will work to provide increased accessibility and participation of eligible voters with disabilities under the new laws.

Our goal is to do everything in our power to make it possible —and easy — for every one of our nearly 70,000 registered voters to cast a ballot. We also want to make sure that every vote that is cast is counted correctly. And we are certain that we have done all that is necessary to assure that the only votes counted in Nevada County elections are those cast by lawfully registered voters. How we will continue to accomplish all this under the Voter Choice Act is what the workshops will explore.

Under the new election system, it will be impossible for anyone to vote more than once.

This new voting system, adopted by Nevada County and thirteen other California counties, came about through the California Voter’s Choice Act (SB450), which was signed into law in September 2016. It transforms voting in several ways:

• Elections are all mail, that is, every registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail 28 days before the election.
• Voters can return their ballots by mail, as in the past.
• Or, voters can drop off their ballots at one of the designated Drop-Off Locations or seven Vote Centers strategically located to make it easy for voters to reach. All of these locations will be listed in the ballot material sent to voters.
• Vote Centers will also serve as problem solving hubs for voters; for instance if a ballot was mismarked, or a ballot not received, voters can go to any of the Vote Centers to get a replacement ballot or have any other issues addressed quickly.
• Same-day registration will also be available at these Vote Centers.

I urge anyone who wants to know all they can about elections to sign up by next Friday, and attend any or all workshop sessions on August 29.

It is my firm belief that California’s elections are more efficient, honest and secure than any other state’s. I am equally sure that Nevada County’s new election process will be as good as it can possibly be. Come to a workshop and find out why I feel this way.