California Civic Participation Map

The purpose of this research is to identify which counties in California are underperforming in terms of civic engagement. By comparing the Citizen, Voting Age Population (CVAP) against registered and voting percentages, we can compare the level of participation at each stage by using 2020 as the base year. Through exploring these factors, this project identifies the counties that need to place additional attention on enhancing voter education and outreach, highlighting a need for policy changes or suggestions that could ameliorate existing voting disparities in California.

10 California Regions Map

The below map displays the 10 California regions as established by the California census. The state of California has initiated a comprehensive campaign to guarantee an accurate and thorough tally of its residents in the upcoming 2020 Census. To achieve this, the California Complete Count Office has divided the state’s 58 counties into 10 regions, taking into account factors such as difficult-to-count demographics, similarities among counties, the ability of local community organizations, and workload capacities of state Census personnel.

These regions possess a deep understanding of their populations, making them well-suited for targeted outreach and communication efforts aimed at increasing participation from hard-to-count groups, ultimately leading to a successful and complete count in 2020.

Data displayed on this map above is gathered from the United States Census Bureau and Secretary of State websites. Registration and Turnout Estimates were retrieved from the Secretary of State for this map and all other displayed data was received from the United States Census Bureau

Counties Within the 10 Regions

Which counties are part of the 10 regions.

Region 1 – Superior California: Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Yolo, Yuba

Region 2 – North Coast: Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, Trinity

Region 3 – SF Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano

Region 4 – Northern San Joaquin Valley: Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tuolumne

Region 5 – Central Coast: Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Ventura

Region 6 – Southern San Joaquin Valley: Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Tulare

Region 7 – Inland Empire: Riverside, San Bernardino

Region 8 – Los Angeles

Region 9 – Orange

Region 10 – San Diego-Imperial

Key Differences Between Regions

3 regions were significantly under the state average for voter registration (Δ-6.7% to -7.7%)

  • North San Joaquin Valley
  • South San Joaquin Valley
  • Inland Empire

Only Region 7 (Inland Empire) was under the state average for all of the following: CVAP, Registration, and Voting

4 regions were significantly under the state average for voter turnout

  • North San Joaquin Valley
  • South San Joaquin Valley
  • Los Angeles
  • Inland Empire

5 regions had above state average CVAP of 30-44-year-olds

  • North San Joaquin Valley
  • South San Joaquin Valley
  • Inland Empire
  • Los Angeles
  • San Diego

Key indicators for regions with civic participation gaps point to:

  • Above average CVAP education attainment of High School or less
  • A higher percentage of limited English proficiency than the state average
  • A higher percentage of persons in poverty than the state average

Census ACS 2019 1-Year: Census American Community Survey 2019 1-Year reports data collected over the course of the year, from January 2019 – December 2019

CVAP: Citizen Voting Age Population. In other words, the CVAP accounts for all eligible voters within a given area, regardless of registration or turnout status.

Other (Ethnicity): Other is any other race/ethnicity that is not White, Black, Latino, or Asian. The numbers for other were calculated by subtracting the total CVAP and the total number of White, Black, Latino, and Asian CVAP.                             Other = Total CVAP – Sum(White, Black, Latino, and Asian CVAPs)

Registration Rate: The concentration of eligible voters that have also registered to vote. The percentage for this data is created by dividing the population of registered voters to the collective CVAP.

Turnout: The people who voted in a given year or election. Turnout is specified in comparison to a given population. For example, Turnout of Registered Population results from dividing the population of those who voted by the total population of registered voters. Turnout of CVAP refers to those who voted out of the entire population of eligible voters.

Poverty: A state of living in which a person’s income is less than what is needed for a given standard of living. Persons identified as living in a state of poverty include those with an income below the poverty level. The poverty rates shown in the map above are provided by the United States Census Bureau.

Limited English Proficiency Rate: Accounts for all people above the age of 5 years old that are limited in their English language comprehension out of the entire population above the age of 5 years old in a given county. These limitations vary between speaking English “well” (but not “very well”), “not very well”, and “not at all”. This data is gathered by combining the groups of people who speak English less than “very well”, and then dividing that sum by the total population above 5 years of age.

VCA: The Voter’s Choice Act (VCA) requires participating counties to establish an Election Administration Plan (EAP) utilizing public input. This plan should be designed to outline how the county will create education, outreach, and transparency for voters, as well as translating their plan to all languages established by the California Secretary of State.