California Forward, a nonpartisan governance improvement organization, is exploring ways to increase cooperation between California’s state and local governments in funding election administration. The project is intended to inform potential solutions to a multi-year impasse on state mandate reimbursements. One deliverable is to identify models in addition to the state mandate framework, along with innovative approaches to funding elections.

California counties administer elections according to prescribed law, but fund their elections in differing ways from varying revenue sources and with different levels of per capita general fund support. There is not a comprehensive understanding of how counties fund elections, which makes it difficult for the state to establish baseline needs. Using data-driven analysis and informed participation from counties, the Election Funding Project will build a profile of funding options.

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