at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change
CCEP Newsletter
September 2017
Dear CCEP colleagues, partners and friends:

Welcome to the September edition of Engage!

This month, the California Civic Engagement Project released new research titled "The California Voter Experience Study: A Statewide Survey of Voter Perspectives on Vote-By-Mail and Vote Centers." Since being released, its findings have been cited by multiple news media outlets.

Within this month's edition you will also hear about two presentations that CCEP director Mindy Romero gave on the latest CCEP research, one hosted by the UC Center Sacramento, and the other as part of the UC Davis Capitol Speaker Series. This issue also presents the latest research from Asian Americans Advancing Justice regarding Vote-By-Mail ballot rejection rates, shares a story about 30 youth commissioners from the West Valley who traveled to the state capitol to show support for an amendment that would allow 17 year olds to vote, and presents the latest civic engagement news updates for California and the country.

In partnership,

Mindy Romero, Ph.D.
CCEP Director
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New CCEP Research
New Research Released!

The CCEP has recently released its new report titled:
The California Voter Experience Survey: A Statewide Survey of Voter Perspectives on Vote-By-Mail and Vote Centers.

The findings of this report identify some of the opportunities and challenges that may arise when switching to a Vote Center Model, particularly for electorally underrepresented populations. This research will help inform implementation strategies by election officials and community leaders as they work together in their planning for a new election model.

To check out this new report, visit the CCEP policy brief page here.
Upcoming Events
A Conversation About Young Adult Voter Behavior
September 18th

Young adults continue to have low voter turnout rates compared to any other age group. This event, put on by The Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies in partnership with San Jose State University, will discuss potential reasons for this low turnout.

Mindy Romero, CCEP director, will be speaking at this event along with Matt Mahan, CEO and Co-Founder of Brigade, and Dr. Mary Currin-Percival, SJSU Assistant Professor of Political Science. Here they will discuss what young voters need in order to become engaged in our country's elections.

This event will be held Monday, September 18th from 3:00 pm to 5:00pm at the San Jose State University Library. To register for the event, please visit the event page here.

Aoki Center for Critical Race and Nation Studies
UC Davis School of Law
September 19th

The Aoki Center for Critical Race and Nation Studies at the UC Davis School of Law has started their Fall 2017 seminar series. Attendees will get to hear from researchers and scholars as they present their work that relates to critical race studies.

CCEP director, Mindy Romero, will be giving the second lecture in this seminar series, and it will be held on Tuesday, September 19th from 12pm to 1pm at King Hall. Romero will be giving a presentation titled, "Looking Ahead to the 2018 Midterm Elections: How Changing Demography Will - or  Won't - Influence Outcomes.

For more information about this event, see the UC Davis School of Law event page here.

Civic Makers
October 13th

Civic Makers will be hosting a training event titled, "Public Impact Design" in partnership with the City of Sacramento Mayor's Office for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 

This event is for anyone working in the public sector, including government agency staff, nonprofits staff, and social entrepreneurs. At the event, participants will learn innovative, bottom-up problem solving techniques.

The event will take place on Friday, October 13th from 1pm to 5pm at Sacramento City Hall. To get tickets to the event, please see the Eventbrite page here.

Make Every Vote Count
October 7th

Make Every Vote Count (MEVC) will be hosting a symposium at Stanford Law School where they will discuss how to improve our Presidential selection process.  This event will feature U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) as its keynote speaker.

For those interested in attending this event, see the MEVC registration page here.

CCEP Past Events
Looking Ahead to the 2018 Midterm Elections: How Changing Demography Will - or Won't - Influence Outcomes

CCEP director, Mindy Romero, gave at presentation at the UC Center Sacramento this past month, to discuss new CCEP research on the voter turnout of swing states. She discussed what expected and unique patterns were found in the data, specifically for underrepresented populations, and what this could mean for the 2018 election.

To see a video on this presentation, see the UC Center Sacramento youtube page here.

Vote Centers are Coming to California: What Do We Need to Know to Help Ensure Successful and Equitable Implementation? 

As part of the UC Davis Capitol Speaker Series, CCEP director Mindy Romero, presented new research from the CCEP statewide survey on California voters' perceptions of Vote Centers. This research identified opportunities and challenges that could arise if counties switch to the Vote Center model, particularly for electorally underrepresented populations.

To check out the presentation conducted in sponsorship with the California Latino Legislative Caucus, see the Capitol Speaker Series youtube video here.

New Civic Engagement Research
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles 

A new report released by Asian Americans Advancing Justice - California found that Asian Americans face a higher than average vote-by-mail (VBM) ballot rejection rate. 

The report analyzed Los Angeles, San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara counties which together, make up 45% of the California Asian American electorate. AAAJ found that the highest rejection rates among Asian Americans were with young voters age 18 to 24, and foreign born voters. The most common reason for these rejections was signature mismatches.

To learn more about this report titled, "Asian Americans Face Higher Than Average Vote-By-Mail Ballot Rejection Rates in California," see their press release here.

Civic Engagement Success Story
Photo Credit: Jasmine Leyva| Mercury News
West Valley teens call for a lower voting age

On August 30th, 30 youth commissioners from Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, San Jose and Saratoga traveled by bus to the California State Capitol to voice their support for ACA 10, which calls for lowering the voting age from 18 to 17 years old.

ACA 10 made it to a third reading where it was then refused adoption. Assembly Member Evan Low (D-28) has since motioned for the amendment to be reconsidered.

To learn more about this story, see the Mercury News article here.

California Civic Engagement News

California lawmakers ban taxpayer-funded mailers close to elections

The state legislature approved  Senate Bill 45 which will prohibit local elected officials from using taxpayer funds to send government mass-mailings or public events announcements to constituents during the 60 days before an election.

This bill was introduced after the Southern California News Group said that Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do reportedly sent out nearly 1.2 million mailers, that frequently featured Do's name, promoting community events during his re-election bid. This was said to have cost tax payers around $246,000. The passing of SB 45 will now make this use of taxpayer funds a misdemeanor.

National Civic Engagement News
Photo Credit: Eric Gay |  Associated Press
Supreme Court puts Texas redistricting on hold

A federal court in Texas ruled on August 15th that certain congressional districts were guilty of drawing district lines that discriminated against minorities. However, this week the Supreme Court of the United States, in a 5-4 vote, blocked the Texas federal court's ruling.

The Supreme Court's order will stay in place while it hears the state's appeal. This means that the district maps in question are more likely to be used during the 2018 election.

To learn more about this case, see the New York Times article here.

Photo Credit: Kayana Szymczak | NBC News
Voter fraud commission clashes over New Hampshire vote count

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity held its second public meeting this week. During this meeting, Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, was criticized by New Hampshire election officials over a claim Kobach  made that it was "highly likely" that votes cast by non-residents influenced the results of New Hampshire's election.

Kobach wrote an op-ed in Breitbart News on September 7th claiming that New Hampshire's U.S. Senate seat race, which was won by a Democrat, was "stolen through voter fraud." In response, voting experts stated, again, that there is no evidence of voter fraud.

To learn more about this story, see the NBC News article here.

CCEP Outreach: In the Media
Voters skeptical of a new state law that overhauls how Californians cast ballots

The CCEP's recent research was covered by the Los Angeles Times. The article discusses the results of the CCEP's statewide survey regarding voters' perceptions of Vote Centers, an electoral system change that some California counties are considering adopting.

To read more, see the LA Times article here.

Some California voters don't trust Post Office to mail ballots, study says

KPCC Southern California Public Radio recently covered the latest CCEP research. KPCC discusses research findings regarding voters' trust in the U.S. Postal Service, a key aspect of Vote-By-Mail.

To learn more, see the KPCC article here.
Some California counties racing to adopt all "Vote-By-Mail" process

The CCEP's latest research on Vote Centers was recently cited by Capital Public Radio (CPR). CPR looks at which California counties will possibly be adopting the new Vote Center model.

To read more, see the Capitol Public Radio article here.

UCD director: Voting changes will require 'aggressive outreach'

The Davis Enterprise recently published an article regarding the latest CCEP research. The article discusses how the Vote Center model would work, as well as what counties will need to do, and what issues counties will have to be aware of, should they decide to adopt this model. 

For the full story, see the Davis Enterprise article here.

Voters don't like California's move to voting centers in place of neighborhood polling places

New research findings by the CCEP were discussed by KPCC in their latest article about California counties implementing Vote Centers. 

This change is occurring under the new law known as that Voter's Choice Act (VCA). The VCA allows counties to opt in to the new Vote Center system. While Vote Centers would be open up to 10 days before an election day to provide more voting flexibility, some critics believe this electoral system change could be too disruptive and confuse voters.

To learn more about the VCA and Vote Centers, see the KPCC article here.

Share Your Civic Engagement Research with the CCEP
UC Davis California Civic Engagement Project
CCEP Advisory Committee
Kim Alexander 
President and Founder  
California Voter Foundation

Matt A. Barreto
Professor, Dept. of Political Science
Professor, Dept. of Chicana/o Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Jonathan Fox
School of International Service 
American University  

Luis R. Fraga 
Arthur Foundation Endowed Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership
Professor of Political Science University of Notre Dame

Lisa Garcia Bedolla
Chancellor's Professor of Education and Political Science 
University of California, Berkeley

Bruce Haynes
Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology University of California, Davis

Jongho Lee
Dept. of Political Science 
Western Illinois University 

Peter Levine 
Associate Dean for Research and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University

Matt Mahan
Cofounder and CEO

James Muldavin
Executive Director
California Center for Civic Participation and Youth Development

Karthick Ramakrishnan
Professor of Public Policy 
University of California, Riverside

Ricardo Ramirez
Associate Professor, Dept. of Political Science
University of Notre Dame

Jason Reece
Assistant Professor of Land Use Planning and Law
The Ohio State University

Cruz Reynoso
Professor of Law Emeritus
University of California, Davis

Dan Schnur
American Jewish Committee
Los Angeles Region

Shakari Byerly
Partner and Lead Researcher

Samuel Molina
California State Director
Mi Familia Vota

California Civic Engagement Project
UC Davis Center for Regional Change

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