The California Civic Engagement Project (CCEP)
at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change
CCEP Newsletter
June 14, 2016

Welcome to the CCEP's monthly newsletter, Engage!

It hasn't been a month since our last CCEP newsletter, but this has been a busy and exciting time for civic engagement in California and we have a lot to share with you. This issue includes an update on the June 7 primary election, a new op-ed piece published in The Sacramento Bee and an unprecedented level of national and local news coverage of CCEP data and analysis related to the election. 

The CCEP recently released a new  policy brief on California's online voter registration system, and we are hosting a webinar to answer your questions. Later this week, we will also be presenting our research at events in Sacramento and Pasadena. Please check out the c ivic engagement success story highlighted in this issue! 

Thank you for reading, and please note you can now share this newsletter on your favorite social media platform using the buttons above our logo at the top! 
Mindy Romero, Ph.D.
CCEP Director

                                                                                      The CCEP is now on Twitter.  Follow us!   Follow us on Twitter
New CCEP Publications
New CCEP Online Voter Registration Policy Brief Released

California's online voter registration (OVR) system was a major factor in the recent registration surge leading up to the state's primary election registration deadline. A new policy brief from the California Civic Engagement Project released June 13 examines use of online voter registration across the state by geography, race, age, income level and party affiliation. Highlights from CCEP's new policy brief include:

  • Nearly 4 million online voter registrations have been processed in California since this option debuted in 2012
  • Since January 2016, there have been 1.8 million OVR applications completed. Over half of these occurred in the last month before the May registration deadline. 
  • Online voter registration is more prevalent in urban, densely populated areas and among younger voters in California.
  • California Colleges and Universities could be doing a better job of making online voter registration accessible to college students.
  • Low income and Latino Californians are less likely to register online than the general population.
This research was funded by the James Irvine Foundation. 

Click  here for the brief!

CCEP Director Mindy Romero is hosting a free webinar to discuss this new policy brief and answer your questions on Thursday, June 23rd at 10 am Pacific Time. To register, please click here

CCEP Director Mindy Romero Publishes Editorial on California Primary Election Turnout 
A new opinion piece published June 13 in the Sacramento Bee by CCEP Director Mindy Romero analyzes factors impacting voter turnout for recent primary election and provides historical context. Read the full article here

California Primary Election News
The final numbers in California's primary election are not in yet but its appears about 9 million votes were cast in the June 7 primary election, including over 2 million vote-by-mail and provisional ballots, yet to be counted. Final turnout numbers will be certified by July 15th. 
This election saw much  voter confusion, particularly for No party Preference voters who were signed up to vote by mail. Many of these voters ended up having to vote at the polls with a provisional ballot due, in some cases, to poll worker error.  
An unusually large number of California voters received  provisional ballots, over 700,000 statewide. If you received a provisional ballot, you can check to see if your vote was counted by visiting  this website.

The good news is that this election saw voter turnout much higher than the 2012 primary election, when 31.1 percent of registered voters in California cast a ballot, although apparently lower than the 57.7 turnout rate we saw in 2008. 

Featured Events

What to Expect from California's New Motor Voter Law
Lunchtime Briefing at Capitol Event Center, Sacramento
June 16, 2016 12-1:30 pm

Last year, California passed major legislation to increase the state's voter rolls. If successful, this automated voter registration law could expand political representation and help boost civic engagement. Join Eric McGhee of the Public Policy Institute of California and Mindy Romero of the UC Davis California Civic Engagement Project for a presentation on the new registration system's expected impact on the demographics and size of the electorate, and an outline of steps the state can take to ensure the reform achieves its goal. Free to attend with lunch provided, please RSVP here. Presented with funding from the James Irvine Foundation. 
#VoteDisability 2016 GOTV Leadership Conference
June 15-16, 2016
Pasadena, California

The disability organizing network presents a two-day  G et- O ut- T he- V ote conference June 15-16 in Pasadena. This event will give disability community leaders the opportunity to train for effective local voter drives. Participants will be briefed on the most up to date motivational messages on issues like employment, healthcare, transportation and housing. Participants will learn how to create local messaging, strategies and tactics for increasing the size of the disability voting bloc and turnout voters with disabilities in their community. CCEP Director Mindy Romero will be a featured speaker on June 15. To learn more and register click here.

Propositions and Consequences: Ballot Initiatives and Civic Engagement
Friday, June 24, 10:30 am - 1 pm
Capitol Event Center, 1020 11th St., Sacramento

As California voters will be facing one of the longest list of state propositions to vote upon this Fall, what are the possible effects of making this many choices in an election?  Dr. Joshua Dyck will present his research on the effects of ballot initiatives on the experiences of voters.  Employing a two state study between California and Massachusetts, Dr. Dyck's research challenges popular views on participatory democracy and civic engagement. A panel discussion will follow featuring CCEP Director Mindy Romero. This event is free and lunch will be provided. To register and learn more click here
Community Engagement:  Success Story
Supporters of Lavender Courtyard at Sacramento City Hall

Residents Organize to Support LGBT-Welcoming Senior Community for Sacramento

Thanks to the work of two energetic and compassionate individuals, downtown Sacramento will soon be home to the region's first LGBT-welcoming senior affordable housing community, Lavender Courtyard by Mutual Housing.

Sacramento residents James Joseph and Michael Farnham were saddened and outraged by reports that LGBT elders were facing staff and resident harassment in senior housing communities. They envisioned an affordable housing community for LGBT seniors where they would be supported and celebrated. One day, James and Michael went on a tour of a local housing community, where they shared their vision with the CEO of the nonprofit organization Mutual Housing California. 

Inspired by their compassion and dedication, the CEO worked with James and Michael to recruit a group of local LGBT leaders who served as a leadership committee to explore moving forward with making their vision a reality. Together they selected a vacant parcel in downtown Sacramento, which Mutual Housing purchased. Steve Hansen, Sacramento's first openly gay city council member, acted as an adviser to the leadership team and helped them engage the support of key  individuals and organizations.

By many accounts, the turnout at City Council when the City financing came up for a vote was unprecedented in its diversity and level of support of an affordable housing development. The financing resolution passed unanimously. Today, the Sacramento LGBT community is waiting to hear the outcome of Mutual Housing's funding search. They are also celebrating their victories thus far. James and Michael are more convinced than ever that voting and civic engagement are keys to realizing dreams and great outcomes.

Civic Engagement Employment Opportunity

The Institute for Local Government is seeking a   Program Assistant   to support its Public Engagement Program.  The position, based in Sacramento, offers an exciting opportunity for an individual who shares the Institute's passion for good government at the local level.
CCEP Outreach: In the Media

CCEP data and analysis is being widely cited in local and national media in the wake of the primary election. Take a look!
The GOP's Latino Crucible: CCEP Featured in New York Times Sunday Editorial
This Sunday, an article by the New York Times Editorial Board  on the relationship between the Republican Party and Latino voters included the expert analysis of CCEP Director Mindy Romero.   Read the full story here
CCEP Featured in Two Nationally Syndicated Associated Press Articles
As the story developed about voter participation and the millions of votes remaining to be counted from the California primary election, CCEP Director Mindy Romero was featured in two national stories by the Associated Press.  The first story, published June 9th, focused on the revelation that, as of that date, 2.6 million ballots remained to be counted.  The second story, published the next day, focused on the higher than expected statewide voter turnout. 
Mindy Romero Discusses the Latino Vote on National Public Radio's Morning Edition

On the morning of the California Primary, CCEP Director Mindy Romero was featured as a guest on National Public Radio's Morning Edition speaking about the Latino vote this election cycle. Listen to the interview with host David Greene or read the transcript here

All Eyes on California: CCEP Featured in the USA Today
A June 3 article in the USA Today looking ahead to the California primary featured data and commentary from CCEP Director Mindy Romero on new voter registrations and the youth vote. Click here for the story. 
Democracy at Risk: Promoting Voter Engagement in California
CCEP Director Mindy Romero and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla were recently featured guests on the Maddy Institute's weekly public affairs program the Maddy Report out of CSU Fresno. View the interview on voter registration and turnout in California.
Chinese Language Radio Program Features CCEP Research on Ethnic Voter Disparities
On the eve of the primary election, The Sound of Hope Chinese language radio program featured a half-hour segment with CCEP Director Mindy Romero discussing Asian American and Latino Voter turnout in California.  To listen, click here. 
Impact of Calling the Democratic Presidential Race Before CA Votes

On the eve of California's primary election, the Associated Press declared a presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. A story published in the Sacramento Bee that day considering the possible impact on voter turnout featured analysis from CCEP Director Mindy Romero.   Click here to read the story. 

The Relationship Between Voter Registration and Voter Turnout

An article published on election day in the San Francisco Chronicle analyzing the impact of high levels of voter registration leading up to the election featured analysis related to the youth vote in California by CCEP Director Mindy Romero.   Click here for the full article.
KPFA Investigates Role of Latino Voters in California Primary Election

Berkeley-based KPFA radio's morning program Upfront featured a segment on June 3rd considering the impact that Latino Voters would have on the June 7 primary election. Listen to the interview with featured guest and CCEP Director Mindy Romero. 

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 
Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs 
Director of CIRCLE: The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, 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

J ason Reece
Director of Research
Kirwan Institute

Cruz Reynoso
Professor of Law Emeritus
University of California, Davis
Dan Schnur
Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics
University of Southern California

California Civic Engagement Project
UC Davis Center for Regional Change
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