New Online Database Allows Calif. Voters to Track Their Ballot in Real Time

California will soon have a centralized voter registration database across all of its 58 counties. It’s called VoteCal, and it will give the 17.2 million voters in California the ability to check their registration status online, get real-time updates on whether their ballots were counted, and find their polling locations.

It will also make it easier for county officials to set up their elections and ensure that their voter registration lists are up to date. Election officials will have a comprehensive database for placing voters into election precincts and keeping track of each voter’s party preferences.

“This is a big moment. VoteCal will modernize California elections,” remarked Secretary of State Alex Padilla. “Through VoteCal, California citizens will have access to an easy-to-use online portal to check the status of their voter registration and ballot. VoteCal will also allow for innovations such as Election Day voter registration.”

This is a big moment. VoteCal will modernize California elections.
Calif. Secretary of State Alex Padilla
And it’s been a long time coming. California is the last state in the nation to adopt a single, computerized voter registration list, ever since the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 required every state to maintain a similar system.

Stanislaus and Monterey counties joined with VoteCal on Monday, marking complete county participation across the state.

Under the current Calvoter system, county officials use their election management systems to update voter information on a nightly basis. With VoteCal, the goal is to process and update this data in real-time.

VoteCal will exchange information with other county and state information systems, including the DMV and Department of Public Health, to make this all possible.

Over the next few months, the database will be undergoing a series of security and performance testing before it is fully certified in June.

“By the November 8, 2016 General Election, VoteCal will provide California voters useful tools and help elections officials accurately and efficiently maintain voter rolls,” Padilla said.