The California Secretary of State’s Office has approved the Voter’s Choice Act election model for Sonoma County, county Registrar of Voters Deva Marie Proto announced.

Sonoma County will now be required to mail every registered voter a ballot for each election in which they are eligible to participate. The county will also have a combination of ballot drop-off boxes and “vote centers” instead of polling places.

The goal of the Voter’s Choice Act model is to offer voters more flexibility in choosing how, where and when to cast their ballots, Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters Wendy Hudson said.

According to Hudson, vote centers are open “multiple” days, not just on Election Day. Voters can use whichever vote center is most convenient for them, not a pre-assigned location, as with polling centers. The centers will also provide conditional voting registration (such as same-day registration), the ability to change one’s address, language assistance and accessible ballot marking devices for voters with disabilities.

The new model will kick off with an April 12 special election in Windsor, followed by the statewide primary election on June 7.

The registrar’s office will be holding community meetings as well as sending out information about the new model to voters via mailings, emails and other public service announcements, Hudson said.

More information about the new model can be found on the county’s website.

Katy St. Clair got her start in journalism by working in the classifieds department at the East Bay Express during the height of alt weeklies, then sweet talked her way into becoming staff writer, submissions editor, and music editor. She has been a columnist in the East Bay Express, SF Weekly, and the San Francisco Examiner. Starting in 2015, she begrudgingly scaled the inverted pyramid at dailies such as the Vallejo Times-Herald, The Vacaville Reporter, and the Daily Republic. She has her own independent news site and blog that covers the delightfully dysfunctional town of Vallejo, California, where she also collaborates with the investigative team at Open Vallejo. A passionate advocate for people with developmental disabilities, she serves on both the Board of the Arc of Solano and the Arc of California. She lives in Vallejo.