New Electorate Project


This project aims to provide rigorous evidence to evaluate how recent voting reforms in California are reshaping the state’s electorate. In a series of studies, we ask how these reforms – including the Voter’s Choice Act, shifts in the timing of local elections, and changes in voter registration – impact both overall turnout rates and the extent to which California’s new electorate reflects and represents emerging demographic trends. We are conducting original academic research, but also summarizing our findings in research briefs tailored to policymakers, advocates, journalists, and interested members of the public. Our findings will be released to the public and available at Funded by the University of California’s Office of the President, this project brings together faculty members, graduate students and undergraduates at five UC campuses with collaborators at USC and the Public Policy Institute of California.

Recent Reports

May 1, 2019

In its first year of implementation, did the Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) change turnout patterns in the counties – Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, and San Mateo – that adopted this new reform? How did this reform affect the turnout of groups of Californians – young voters, Latinos, and Asian Americans– who have often participated in elections at lower rates than others? We address these questions by gathering data on turnout rates, voter demographics, and electoral competition from 2002 through the primary and general elections of 2018, comparing trends in the adopting counties to the rest of the state.