Skip to main content

CEW Bylaws

CEW Bylaws

As amended on November 16, 2023




Article I. Name, Purpose, and Authority

Section 1. Name. The name of this body is the Orange County Registrar of Voters Community Election Working Group (CEW), hereafter referred to as the Working Group.

Section 2. Purpose. It is the purpose of the Working Group to discuss and provide input on minority voting, access of the disabled population to the elections process and the elections process in general, provide the Registrar of Voters with a forum to update the community as a whole on elections issues and promote community involvement in elections issues within Orange County.

The Working Group shall:

  • Provide the Registrar of Voters with a forum to advise all community sectors on elections issues in an equitable and timely manner;
  • Act in an advisory capacity to the Registrar of Voters, on elections issues as requested by the Registrar of Voters;
  • Provide input to the Registrar of Voters on elections issues, enhancing coordination between the County, election process related community support groups, and the voters of Orange County.

The Working Group shall not:

  • Have decision-making authority. Any recommendations of the working group are subject to Registrar of Voters approval and the Registrar of Voters will make final decisions.

Section 3. Authority. The Registrar of Voters is required under the Federal Voting Rights Act, Section 203 (VRA) to provide elections services to voters with limited English proficiency. The Department of Justice (DOJ) provides guidelines for complying with the VRA which state “The cornerstone of every successful program is a vigorous outreach program to identify the needs and communication channels of the minority community.”

The DOJ also advises that elections officials should broaden their outreach to other groups to be able to identify the most effective and most efficient outreach program possible.

One of these groups is the disabled community. Various federal and state laws mandate accommodations be made for people with disabilities including:

Voting Accessibility for the Elderly & Handicapped Act of 1984: Promotes the fundamental right to vote by requiring “access for elderly and handicapped individuals to registration facilities and polling places in a federal election.”

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) Requires public entities to provide auxiliary aids and services where necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy, the benefits of a service program or activity conducted by a public entity.

Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA): Among other things, requires election officials to provide to individuals with disabilities, including visual impairments, a voting system at each polling site that allows the voter to vote a secret ballot.

California Elections Code Section 12280.  When designating polling places, the elections official shall undertake necessary measures in the locating of polling places to ensure that polling places meet the guidelines promulgated by the Secretary of State for accessibility by the physically handicapped.

Article II. Organization

Section 1. The officers of the Working Group shall consist of a Chair, Vice Chair and a Secretary.

Section 2. The Chair and Vice Chair shall be elected from the general membership (with the exception of representatives of political parties) and shall serve for the period of one year. The term of service for the Chair and Vice Chair shall commence on the first work day in January and terminate on the last work day in December. Election of the Chair and Vice Chair shall be held annually during the  first Working Group meeting of each calendar year by majority vote. The Registrar of Voters shall select the Secretary from the Registrar of Voters staff.

Section 3. The Working Group shall consist of roughly 20 - 30 members from the public.

Article III. Membership

Section 1. Membership. Membership shall include, but not be limited to, representation from the following segments of the Orange County community, with the number of members as provided below:

Latino community (4)

Asian community (4)

City Clerks (4)

League of Women Voters; permanent group (1)

Republican Party; permanent group (1)

Democratic Party; permanent group (1)

At large position from alternative parties (1)

Senior Community (1)

Veterans Affairs (1)

Disabled Community (minimum of 4)

Poll Workers (2)

Youth Representative – 18 to 25 years of age (1)

At Large (2)

In the event that prior to the expiration of his or her term, a member ceases to retain the status, which qualified him or her for appointment to the Working Group, their term shall terminate and there shall be a vacancy on the Working Group to be filled by the group/agency/etc. or the Registrar of Voters as specified in Sections 2 and 6 of this Article.

Members may designate one individual as their alternate to attend meetings in their absence. The alternate would have proxy voting rights for the member they are representing.

Members of the Working Group are considered volunteers and as such they are not eligible for any stipends or reimbursements.

Section 2. Initial Appointments. The Registrar of Voters maintains a list of individuals and organizations affiliated with the County’s election process. This list will be used to provide initial notification to County citizens of the creation of the Working Group and provide applications for membership to the Working Group.

City clerks will be appointed by the Registrar of Voters who will request statements of interest prior to the establishment of the Working Group and prior to the end of the term of each city clerk. The Registrar of Voters will appoint city clerks with the goal of ensuring that cities of different population sizes are represented.

When sufficient nominations for each position have been received, Registrar of Voters staff will review each application using the following criteria:

  • Who the applicant represents (what organization).
  • How the applicant is viewed by his/her represented organization.
  • How the applicant is viewed by the segment of the community, which his/her organization represents.
  • The influence the applicant has within the specified community segment and the Orange County community at large.
  • How capable the applicant’s organization is in soliciting information from, and providing information to, the community segment the organization represents.
  • The applicant’s willingness to serve on, and be an active participant of, the Working Group.
  • The applicant’s willingness to advance the interests of the Working Group as a whole.

Registrar of Voters staff, including Outreach personnel, will make recommendations to the Registrar of Voters for final selection. Registrar of Voters staff may be required to obtain additional information from applicants when deemed necessary. Selection of members from the League of Women Voters, Republican Party and the Democratic Party will not be made by the department since these groups are segments of the community with permanent representation on the Working Group. These organizations will provide the Registrar of Voters the name of the individual who will represent their organization. However, the Registrar of Voters shall have the right to approve the selections from these organizations.

Subsequent Appointments. Once a position on the Working Group is filled, subsequent appointments will be handled as outlined in this Section and in Section 6 of this Article, Vacancies.

Section 3. Removal. The members of the Working Group may be removed by the Registrar of Voters for cause giving consideration to standards set forth in Article III, Section 2. Reasons for removal include, but are not limited to:

  • Three consecutive or unexcused absences within a year by a member from the regular meetings of the Working Group. (Attendance by an alternate will not count as an absence.)
  • The member is unable effectively to represent the seat to which he/she is appointed due to change of employment or status or others reasons that substantially alter the member's qualifications or interfere with the member’s ability to properly function as a member of the Working Group.

Section 4. Resignation. Resignation of Working Group members shall be effected by a written letter of resignation submitted to the Secretary.  

Section 5. Terms. Members shall be appointed for a term of two years. Appointments shall end on December 31. Terms shall be staggered in one or two year appointment increments to ensure a continuity of representation. A member, who has not been reappointed or replaced at the last date of their term, shall serve as a member until reappointed or replaced with no lapse of representation unless the Registrar of Voters decides otherwise.

Section 6. Vacancies. A vacancy on the Working Group shall be filled through appointment by the Registrar of Voters taking into consideration any recommendations from the Working Group. Such appointments shall be made to fill the unexpired portion of the vacated position or to replace a member whose term has been completed. Persons appointed to fill an unexpired term shall not be precluded from appointment to a two year term once the position they filled has expired. A vacancy should, if possible, be filled within 30 days from the occurrence of the vacancy.

Reappointment to an additional term/s may be made by the Registrar of Voters. Reasons to be taken into consideration for reappointment include but are not limited to:

  • The quality of input to the Working Group by the member/group
  • The wishes of the group/organization that the member represents.
  • Whether other qualified persons, groups or organizations representing the same segment of the community have applied to serve on the Working Group.

Article IV. Meetings and Actions  

Section 1. Meetings. Although the Working Group is not subject to the provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act, Government Code section 54950, et seq., its meetings will be open to the public. Meeting dates will be posted on the Registrar of Voters website. Meeting notices will be delivered via email to members of the Working Group.

Regular meetings will be held two to four times a year. As may be necessary, the Registrar of Voters will call for special meetings to act upon immediate concerns.

  • Meetings are to be held at the office of the Registrar of Voters, 1300 S. Grand Avenue, Santa Ana, California and/or online using an audio and video conferencing application.

Members shall notify the Secretary of any expected absence for a meeting by 5:00 PM of the day before a regularly scheduled meeting, indicating good and sufficient reasons for the absence.

Section 2. Parliamentary Authority. The rules contained in the current edition of Rosenberg’s Rules of Order: Simple Rules of Parliamentary Procedure for the 21st Century shall govern the working group in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the working group may adopt.

Section 3. Quorum and Voting Requirements. The quorum requirement shall be fifty percent + 1 of the current membership (excluding vacancies). In the event of a tie, the Registrar of Voters shall cast the deciding vote.

Decisions and acts made by majority vote of the members at any duly constituted meeting shall be regarded as acts of the Working Group.

  • Members choosing to abstain from voting on specific actions will not affect majority requirements. Abstentions are considered a “non-vote” - neither a vote in the affirmative nor in the negative.

Article V. Adoption and Amendment of Bylaws  

Section 1. Adoption. An affirmative vote of at least fifty percent + 1 of those voting shall be required to adopt these Bylaws.

Section 2. Amendments. The Registrar of Voters or any member of the Working Group may propose amendments to these Bylaws. Proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing and made available to each member of the Working Group no less than five (5) days prior to consideration before a vote is taken. Changes to the Bylaws that are proposed by the membership are subject to approval of the Registrar of Voters.