Registrar of Voters
Election Advisory Committee Meeting
Friday, April 20, 2007, 9:30 a.m.
Room 324A, Marin Civic Center
A meeting of the Election Advisory Committee was held on Friday, April 20, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. Present were: Linda Bagneschi Dorrance, Greg Brockbank, Barbara Gaman, Julie Grantz, Anne Layzer, Jeanne Leoncini, Sherry Reson, Bob Richard, and Cat Woods. Also present were: Tony Aquilino, Melvin Briones, Jane Crownover, Colleen Ksanda and Elaine Ginnold from the Registrar of Voters’ Office and Roy Given, Assistant Treasurer.
Webpage update and feedback.
Tony Aquilino presented the latest version of the Registrar of Voters’ new website and received feedback from the committee on the site. Tony will make the changes suggested and expects to launch the site by the end of April. The Committee suggested that the new website be publicized in the IJ and that the address of the site be printed on cards that can be distributed at meetings held in the community.
ELECTION ADVISORY COMMITTEE FEEDBACK ON WEBSITE 4/20/07
- Tab of Candidates should say “candidate information”
- Add on election advisory committee page: “applications for membership on the committee are accepted continuously.”
- Change the wording about applying for voter registration information to “applying to purchase information about registered voters”. You also mentioned that you would put in a statement that individual voters could check their own information by coming to our office.
- Change the word “alpha” to “alphabetical”
- On the absentee voting landing page, put a statement that says, “MAIL YOUR BALLOT EARLY…If you vote by mail, be sure to mail your ballot early – at least five days before the election – so that your votes can be included in the first report of absentee ballots at 8:00 p.m. on Election Night.”
- Revise report on turnout to highlight presidential elections and explain the difference between November even and odd year elections.
- Change heading on the page that had the addresses of the election officials to “ELECTION DEPARTMENTS IN CALIFORNIA COUNTIES”
- Can you put our report of the elected officials with the dates of their terms (the one from Dan) on the website?
- Create a means for voters to provide feedback on the website and on elections.
- Find a better word to name the procedure for sending equipment to the polls rather than using the word “deploying” in the procedures section
- On the schedule of elections, write, “no election scheduled at this time” . Also include a statement that says: “The following dates are dates when jurisdictions in California may schedule elections. These dates are specified in California Elections Code Sec. 1000 and 1500 and are known as “established election dates.” The list below will indicate whether or not an election has been scheduled in Marin County on one of the established election dates.
- On the smart voter link description, add “candidates” to the list of information contained on the site.
- Put link to the CA Elections Code and the county code, if possible.
- Fix the spelling errors in links section – league and general.
Secretary of State’s review of voting systems
The Secretary of State has issued draft criteria on her proposed review of voting systems and expects to issue final criteria by the end of April. Both the draft criteria and public comments are posted on the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.ca.gov. Click on the Voting Systems button. Marin’s optical scan voting system and its AutoMark ballot marking device will also be included in the review.
Planning for June 21st annual meeting
The appointments person at the Secretary of State’s office has changed and there is no word yet whether Debra Bowen or her designee will be available to speak at our annual meeting. We should hear by the end of April and at that time will e-mail an announcement of the annual meeting to committee members and begin publicizing it. Suggestions included asking members of the Board of Supervisors to publish the meeting announcement in their newsletters
Elaine Ginnold distributed a draft report of Advisory Committee recommendations with the actions that have been taken by the Registrar of Voters’ Office and asked for feedback from the Committee. The Committee recommended changing the word, “suggestions” to “recommendations” and to clarify that state legislation for Instant Runoff/Ranked Choice voting is pending. Put improvements resulting from committee suggestions in boldface type on the grid.
Committee members will review the grid between now and the May meeting and forward recommendations on it to Elaine Ginnold. The grid will become part of an annual report that will be prepared by the Registrar of Voters for the annual meeting in June. Ms. Ginnold will work with the subcommittees to develop additional information the annual report and will bring a draft of the Annual Report to the May meeting.
The committee approved the draft agenda for the annual meeting with the following changes: Add Election Advisory before the word Committee in the first item. Change item three to “Registrar of Voters’ report.”
Other suggestions for the annual meeting were to set up computers so that people could look at the website and project the main webpage on a screen during the meeting and to put the annual report on the ROV website. Committee also suggested that the ROV write an article about the work of the advisory committee and the ROV’s office for the IJ.
Updates were provided on the following State Assembly bills:
Bob Richard reported that AB 1294, Instant Runoff Voting/Choice Voting, which allows general law cities the option to conduct their elections using IRV and choice voting, had been approved by the Assembly Elections Committee and is now in Appropriations. Proponents and authors accepted two amendments as follows:
1. the bill no longer includes school or district elections due to the concern that because counties are required to conduct these elections, they would be left paying the bill for conversions to IVR elections if schools and districts so requested; and
2. Language will be added that if a city votes to have IRV elections, it will be with the condition that the voting system will be certified to handle it.
AB 1654 Mail ballot elections – the author has made this a 2-year bill.
AB 183 Voter registration as condition of HS graduation – Bill was amended to provide ways of encouraging HS seniors to register to vote, but not make voter registration a condition of graduation. This bill passed the Assembly Elections Committee and is now in Appropriations.
Federal Election bills – Ms. Ginnold will e-mail a summary of federal election bills that have been introduced.
It was requested that AB 583 – the clean money bill – be added to the list of bills the Committee is following.
Linda Bagneschi Dorrance explained some of her concerns about the movement towards absentee voting. These will be discussed in more detail at the Election Integrity/Voter Confidence Subcommittee meeting on April 24 at 4:30, and will be on the agenda for the next Election Advisory Committee Meeting.
Greg Brockbank distributed a report he had prepared on the incumbent candidates up for reelection in the November election, their political parties, addresses, and the likelihood of them running.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m. The next meeting will be on Friday, May 18th at 9:30 in Room 324A of the Civic Center.