Best Practices Manual for Official Voter Information Guides Released

Best Practices Manual for Official Voter Information Guides Released



the November 2014 election, only 31% of eligible Californians voted and young

people and people of color continued to be underrepresented. Although many

factors contribute to low voter turnout, we believe that voter information is

an important tool to engage and expand the electorate. 


help make voter information more effective, more inviting, and more useful, we

have released our Best Practices Manual

for Official Voter Information Guides
. This manual was specifically developed as an easy-to-use

resource for election officials and community groups working to enfranchise and

educate California voters.

  • Download the Manual
  • View a prototype voter guide
  • View a sample Voter Bill of Rights written in plain language

What is in the Best Practices Manual for

Official Voter Information Guides Manual


better serve California’s diverse voters, this manual provides a full checklist

of recommendations for creating or reviewing a voter guide to help answer the

questions voters need. We must effectively provide voter information that:

  • bridges civic literacy gaps
  • is designed to make information easy to read
  • is written in a language voters can understand


hope that using our recommendations will lead to voter guides that raise voter

confidence and increase participation. Some of these ideas are already being

implemented in one or more California counties. While we suggest several simple

fixes, some ideas may face regulatory, legislative, and financial barriers—a

challenge we welcome to better serve California’s diverse electorate.

How can I get more information on how

to use the manual?

View the webinar recordings and download the presentations from April 27 and May 1. Trainings and webinars provide technical assistance in

implementing voter guide recommendations. Sign up for our newsletters and like us on Facebook to get all the information you need.

Where did the research come from?


research, led by the Center for Civic Design, was informed by diverse

stakeholders, including election officials, community organizations, good

government groups, and frequent and infrequent voters from across California.

The voices of these voters underpin all our conclusions and recommendations.

One of these voices included a bilingual, low-literacy

research participant who stated, “The whole time I’ve been ignoring this book,

and it had all this information inside. Now that I’m reading it, it makes me

feel more confident.”

Who funded this


This project is supported by a grant from The James

Irvine Foundation.


Contact us via email at lwvc at

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