Housing for vets & public access to top ballot - Will voters turn out?

Monday, June 23, 2014
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Updated nonpartisan California Choices website guides voters this primary season
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IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2014
Contact: Roxanna Smith, 415.453.0430

Housing for vets & public access top ballot – Will voters turn out?
Updated nonpartisan website guides voters this primary season

SAN FRANCISCO — Two weeks from today California voters will cast ballots that will impact housing for veterans and public access to government meetings and records. They’ll also choose the top two candidates for a handful of offices including governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and others. The newly updated nonpartisan California Choices (www.californiachoices.org), a clearinghouse for state voter information, is available to help walk voters through the process.

“If the 2012 primary is any indication, voter turnout could be low—even historically low,” said F. Noel Perry, the founder of the nonpartisan nonprofit organization, Next 10, which presents California Choices in partnership with the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. “We hope that providing voters with clear, concise information will encourage them to get to the polls.”

California Choices examines the two statewide propositions – Prop. 41 and 42 – that are on the ballot this June, providing information about the measures in a highly accessible, one-stop-shop format.  Prop. 41 would authorize $600 million in bonds to provide multi-family housing to homeless and at-risk veterans. Prop. 42 would require local governments to comply with state laws providing access to public meetings and records.

The site’s “Endorsements” table shows how nearly 20 groups of all political stripes would vote on both ballot initiatives. The interactive site also allows users to save their votes using the new “My Votes” feature. Voters can then access their voting preferences at any time from another device, including from a smart phone at the polling place. Users can also share their votes with family and friends via email or Facebook.

“Low voter turnout is very simply bad for our democracy. We’re arming Californians with information so that they can become more engaged in the political process,” said Jack Citrin, Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley.

California Choices was created in June 2010 to educate Californians about government reform. Visit the updated site today at www.californiachoices.org and explore the “My Votes” and “Share Your Votes” features.

*WEB PRODUCERS: California Choices logos and graphics are available upon request.

About Next 10

Next 10 is an independent, nonpartisan organization that educates, engages and empowers Californians to improve the state’s future.  Next 10 is focused on innovation and the intersection between the economy, the environment, and quality of life issues for all Californians.  Next 10 employs research from leading experts on complex state issues and creates a portfolio of nonpartisan educational materials to foster a deeper understanding of the critical issues affecting our state.

About the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley

The Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, is California's oldest public policy research institution. Founded in 1919, IGS and its affiliated centers conduct research, education, and public service in the fields of politics and public policy, which a strong focus on national and California politics. Current IGS research includes institutional policy and design, political reform, term limits, campaign finance, redistricting, direct democracy, presidential and gubernatorial politics, representative government, immigration, globalization, and the politics of race and ethnicity.