Five California counties have adopted a voting act that will allow them to switch up how they handle elections. Within those counties, voters will have more choices in how they cast their ballots -- the can mail them in, vote early or vote at any polling station in the county. And now California's Secretary of State has announced that residents of those counties will also start to get election information through Nextdoor, the social network for neighborhoods.
The counties participating are Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento and San Mateo and voters in those regions will be able to receive messages through Nextdoor regarding election deadline reminders, the location of voting centers in their county and changes about upcoming elections. "Nextdoor's online social network provides a powerful platform to directly communicate with voters," Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement. "There are a lot of exciting changes coming to voters in the five counties adopting the Voter's Choice Act in 2018. Through Nextdoor we can share nonpartisan election information that helps inform voters and allows them to take advantage of these new improvements. This is an exciting public-private partnership that shows how government and tech can work together to empower citizens to participate in our democracy."
The Secretary of State's office reports that Nextdoor reaches 92 percent of the neighborhoods in these five counties. In a statement about the partnership, Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia said, "Voting is a critical part of the citizen engagement required to build strong communities, and Nextdoor is increasingly the forum for neighbors across the nation to engage with each other regarding pressing local policy issues and to connect with their local officials. As California's election process evolves to meet the needs of the voters, we look forward to partnering with the Secretary of State's office to help educate the public about the process of democracy."