Santa Rosa, CA – July 8, 2021 – The Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office is seeking public input on a draft version of its election administration plan that has been posted on its website at sonomacounty.ca.gov/CRA/Registrar-of-Voters/Voters-Choice-Act/.
The plan details how Sonoma County intends to transition from its current polling place election model to the more modern Voter’s Choice Act election model. It comes after the registrar’s office held three virtual public consultation meetings via Zoom in May seeking feedback from the public, particularly representatives and advocates of minority language voters and voters with disabilities, about ways the Registrar of Voters Office can improve voters’ experiences and make the voting process more friendly and accessible to all.
Translations of the election administration plan are available online in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Khmer. Members of the public are strongly encouraged to read over the plan and provide input by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org calling (707) 565-3811. Comments will be accepted for a 14-day period starting today and ending July 23, 2021.
On March 16, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved transitioning Sonoma County from a traditional polling place election model to the Voter’s Choice Act election model. Named after the law on which it is based, this election model allows a county elections office to mail all active, registered voters a ballot, provided that a long series of requirements are met.
Voters who wish to vote in person can still do so at vote centers. Vote centers are similar to polling places except: (1) there are typically fewer of them; and (2) they provide greater flexibility to voters because they are open multiple days and registered voters may cast a vote by regular ballot at any vote center in the county. By comparison, polling places are usually open only on Election Day itself and are voter-specific, meaning that if a registered voter goes to a different polling place than the one that was assigned to them, they would have to vote a provisional ballot, which is not counted until after Election Day when the voter’s eligibility to vote could be verified.
The objective of the voter’s choice election model is to give voters more flexibility in choosing how, when, and where to cast their ballots.
The draft election administration plan is online at sonomacounty.ca.gov/CRA/Registrar-of-Voters/Voters-Choice-Act/. If you have comments or questions about the draft plan, email email@example.com call (707) 565-3811.
Questions and comments about other topics can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, but calls should instead go to (707) 565-6800. The Registrar of Voters Office is also open to in-person visits at 435 Fiscal Drive, Santa Rosa, during regular business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, excluding county holidays). Anyone visiting the office should be prepared to follow county facility health guidelines.