For the past 18 months, your county election department personnel (all 7 1/2 of us) have been participating in a pilot program to bring a brand new method of statewide voter registration to voters. This will change the way the entire state does voter registration. Instead of each county maintaining its own registration database, this process will become a statewide, one-program-fits-all process. This will not only make California fully compliant with the Help America Vote Act, it will improve the overall efficiency of voter registration. All 58 counties will now use one database to register voters and all processes within that system, such as voters moving from street to street, county to county or out of state will be seen in almost real time by the appropriate counties. All of the nuances within the voter registration system: confidential voters, 16- to 17-year-olds pre-registering to vote for when they turn 18, DMV and USPS address updates, deceased voters, all these items and more that were limited in their scope to a particular county will now be available between counties, thereby enabling a more efficient and productive election registration process.
This has been a lot of additional workload for this department. Your Election department is one of only 5 pilot counties in the state tasked with making this system a reality, and we will be "going live" on July 20 of this year. We are very excited about this and the entire department has been working long hours doing very critical work in attempting to work out all the flaws or suggest new features we know will enhance the system.
This past friday we had a major training session lasting 8 hours. All our personnel, representatives from 3 different departments of the Secretary of State's office and also representatives from the county's Election Management System, DIMS, were included. This was a long day of concentrated discussions and lessons regarding the implementation, ideas, workflow, etc. for the next 3 1/2 months as we prepare to go live. I cannot overly emphasize the importance of a successful rollout of this new program.
This would not have happened without the dedication and knowledge of the election staff. I am honored to work with them. - Bill Schultz