Orange County Supervisor of Elections uses a separate numbering system for municipal precincts then the normal county precincts used for county and state offices. Since webElect works from the state voter file, which does not include this municipal precinct system, an Orange County Municipal campaign account must be configured in a special way which creates some issues the campaign users must be aware of.
You Must Use A Group For All Data Reports!
webElect defines the base district using the county precincts that encompass the municipality, but which extend beyond the municipal boundaries. This means the base district includes voters that will not be eligible to vote in the election. To enable a campaign to target only the voters in the municipality, we import the specific Voter ID numbers that the Orange SOE provides via a direct data request. This group MUST BE SELECTED FOR EVERY REPORT TARGETING VOTERS in order to exlucde voters not in the municipality. If you run a report and do not remember to select this group, you will be including voters NOT ELIGIBLE to vote in the city election.
A 2nd issue is that since 2 different data sources are being overlayed to determine and output the voters' info in the district, ie the SOE's list of voter IDs in the district matched to webElect's monthly updated state voter list, the output will always be off a small percentage. This is due to the varying dates of the 2 sources of data.
For example, when the campaign first opens their webElect account on Aug 5th, we receive the list of voter IDs in the municpality from the Orange SOE at that time. The webElect data loaded at that time is only through 6/30. This means the fraction of voters that moved into the district between 6/30 and 8/5 will not be included in webElect's output until the next webElect update a week later.
Fast Forward 2 months to 10/15 when webElect does its newest monthly update to voter data as of 9/30. Now the voter IDs provided by the SOE are out of date resulting in any new voters that moved into the city after 8/5 from being excluded. Also, any voters that moved out of the city, but still remain in the superset of county precincts encompasing the city, will still get included even though they may be just outside of the city. If the voter moved completely further away from the city they will properly no longer be included. To combat this issue, the campaign can request a new list of voter IDs from the SOE and refresh the special group.
In both cases, the missing voters should be a very small percent so likely does not inhibit the benefits the system brings enough to not use it.
Because Orange county is the only county that uses this separate precinct system for municipal districts, we do not have any plans to address this issue.
Last updated by Doug Homan, created April 12, 2017