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Recently Signed Same-Day Voter Registration Law Will Not Affect 2012 Election

Legislation Tied to VoteCal Database Certification

September 28, 2012

This week Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1436 (Feuer), which allows for same-day voter registration.


The Governor also signed a number of other political reform and election-related bills. While the bill will officially be chaptered on Jan. 1, it won’t take effect until the Secretary of State (SOS) is able to certify California’s statewide voter database, VoteCal.

As required by the Federal Help American Vote Act of 2002, in 2005, California began upgrading its statewide voter registration system, VoteCal (formerly CalVoter). Because VoteCal has not yet been completed, AB 1436 will not affect this year’s presidential election and the Oct. 22 deadline to register to vote for the November 2012 election still applies.


The Federal Help American Vote Act of 2002 required the implementation of statewide voter registration systems to replace punch card voting machines, improve voter education and poll worker training, permit voters to cast provisional ballots, and require at least one voting machine per polling place to allow voters with disabilities to vote privately and independently.

The state’s initial plan for VoteCal was issued in December 2003. However, in its 2010 State Plan Update, SOS notes delays in implementation, including the discovery that the vendor hired to create the system had not obtained a required performance bond. The report also indicated that the estimated preliminary launch for the VoteCal system would be June 2014. The database is now expected to be launched in 2015. 

For more information on VoteCal please visit its website.

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