connect / 2018
Voting Solutions for All People: Engaging Voters Through a Mock Election
Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Activation Challenge by Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
As LA County prepares to revolutionize the voting experience, voters will participate in a countywide mock election to interact with new voting technologies and get excited about future elections.
Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.
LA County is modernizing the voting experience. In order to educate the community about this new voting experience, the County will engage Angelenos through a mock election. This mock election will allow voters to interact with the new technologies that will be used in future elections, and experience firsthand the exciting changes.The mock election will encourage voters to be more engaged in their community and the democratic process.
Which of the connect metrics will your activation impact?
- Government responsiveness to residents’ needs
- Voting rates
Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?
- LA is the best place to CREATE
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- County of Los Angeles
How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?
- Create new tools or technologies for greater civic/political engagement
- Increase participation in political processes
Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to connect?
The County’s current voting system has served the voters of Los Angeles County with accuracy and integrity since 1968, the design of the systems and the age of their technology do not offer the technical and functional elasticity necessary to continue to accommodate our growing and increasingly diverse electorate. Additionally, the existing voting systems market is limited and inadequate to meet the needs of our region. We are overdue for solutions that are transparent, publicly owned and that ensure the security and integrity of our elections. In 2020, the Los Angeles County will introduce a new voting experience that will address many of these concerns. To prepare Angelenos for this change, we will conduct a mock election in September 2019 at 50-100 locations throughout the County.
By providing Angelenos the opportunity to become civically engaged through this mock election, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) will get voters excited to try a new and improved voting model that addresses their needs. We also hope that this activation will increase the rates of voting in Los Angeles County. This new voting model, and the mock election, will support LA2050’s goal to make “Los Angeles the most civically engaged region in the U.S. During the Presidential Primary Election in 2016, only roughly 42% of registered voters cast a ballot. For the Presidential General Election on November 2016, 69% of Los Angeles County voters turned out to vote. LA County sees much lower turnout rates for off-cycle election. As is the case of the CA 34th District Representative election; turnout for the Primary Election in April, 2017 as well as the General Election in June, 2017 was just 14% of registered voters. With the mock election, we hope to activate Angelenos to vote in all elections, not just Presidential Elections. We also want to increase the number of registered voters, and make voting easier and more accessible to those voters. This mock election will provide eligible voters who are not yet registered the opportunity to register on-site the day of the mock election.
The mock election will serve as a way for the RR/CC to gather feedback from voters about their thoughts on the new modernized voting system. This will ensure that the RR/CC, a government entity, is responsive to the needs of LA residents when it comes to exercising their right to vote. An increased responsiveness to the voting needs of Angelenos will in turn make Los Angeles a hub for innovation, policy changes, and government transparency.
Like the efforts of LA2050 to “#PartyatthePolls,” the mock election is a county wide event that is all about voter engagement, activation, and education. At the various mock election sites, the RR/CC will ensure that the changes to the voting experience and the new voting system are perceived as fun and exciting.
How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to connect
This activation will target all demographics of voters, but in particular those who traditionally have low-participation rates in elections. These include young adults (ages 18-29) and communities of color. LA2050’s goal is to have Los Angeles be the best place to connect is to have the “voting population reflect the diversity of the region,” and to have “75% of Angelenos report voting often in local elections.” With this mock election, the RR/CC will push towards ensuring that those goals are met and that all eligible Angelenos participate in all elections, including local, state, and federal elections.
One strategy that the RR/CC will employ will be working with local community organizations to engage the voters and disseminate information about the election. Also, we plan on having a multiplatform mass media campaign surrounding elections which will include multi-lingual promotional materials on buses, bus benches, billboards, and street banners placed throughout LA County. Also, we will engage voters via social media through interactive Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter posts, as well as placing promotional material on those sites highlighting the mock election. Lastly, our efforts will include on-air TV, and radio interviews broadcast in a variety of languages to ensure voters of all ages, and demographics throughout the entire LA County know of this mock election.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.
To successfully measure the success of our mock election, we will look at three different metrics: voter impression and successful interaction with new model, voter turnout for the day of the mock election, and voter turnout at elections post-mock election.To measure the first metric, an in-person survey will be administered by an election volunteer after voters interact with the various components of the new voting experience. This survey will measure the voter’s first-impressions, as well as gather feedback as to how LA County can continue improving the experience, and how accessible and easy-to-use the new model is. To measure the second metric, the RR/CC will track the number of Angelenos who visited any of the available Vote Center locations during the mock election. Registered voters will be able to check-in utilizing the new ePollbooks, and eligible voters who are not registered will have the opportunity to register to vote on-site and cast a ballot, a new option for eligible voters. The further measure effectiveness, we will track our social media interactions and mentions on the day of the mock election to see how Angelenos are talking about this activation on their various platforms. To measure the metric of “post-mock election voter turnout,” the RR/CC will track voter turnout rates for the election occurring from 2020-2022, and compare those figures with those of previous elections to analyze whether the mock election sparked greater interest in civic engagement.
Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?
In 5 years, LA County will have a modernized voting system utilized for all elections that will cater to all county demographics by being accessible to all. We will strive to ensure that the number of voters turning out for elections keeps growing, and that we can demonstrate increased voter awareness and participation in all elections. Lastly, in 5 years we hope that other counties will utilize this new voting model and provide their respective constituents with a modernized voting experience, and that they would be able to tailor it to the specific needs of their communities.
Progress on this project can be tracked at vsap.lavote.net