Commission Reports

Study Schedule

May 25, 2017

Subject Area
General Government


Voter Participation

Study Schedule


Thursday, May 25, 2017
9:30 a.m., California State Capitol
Room 437

Public Hearing

Agendas are posted two weeks prior to their hearing date.

Description of Study

The Little Hoover Commission is reviewing voter participation in California.  According to the California Secretary of State, more Californians – some 19 million – registered to vote in the November 2016 presidential election than ever before.  And more of California’s registered voters – approximately 14.6 million – exercised their right to cast a vote.  Despite the historic high registration and turnout for the 2016 presidential election, 25 percent of registered voters and nearly half of California’s 24.8 million eligible voters did not participate in the election.

Prior to this most recent presidential election, California passed legislation intended to make voter registration easier when citizens get a driver’s license or state identification card and thereby encourage more Californians to participate in elections.  Enacted in the fall of 2015, California’s new Motor Voter Program requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to collect voting-related information from driver’s license and state identification card applicants, and also gives individuals a choice to decline registration and opt-out.  Collected information is transmitted to the Secretary of State, which verifies citizenship and adds names to the voter rolls.  In addition, the DMV in 2016 added two options for eligible voters to register to vote using TouchScreen Terminals located at DMV field offices or online when completing their driver’s license renewal.

With this study, the Little Hoover Commission will review the efficacy of recent reforms aimed at easing the voter registration process and consider what else can be done to make it easier for eligible Californians to vote.  Through its public process, the Commission also intends to study best practices in other nations, states and localities to explore and consider opportunities to further increase voter registration and turnout rates in California.

If you would like more information regarding this study, please contact Tamar Lazarus at or at 916-445-2125. To be notified electronically of meetings, events, or when the review is complete, please send a request to

Click here for a list of additional previous studies on general government.