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Dear Friends:

Today, as it has for more than twenty years, the California Voter Foundation (CVF) works to make sure that the election process serves the interest of voters.

We work hard to give you access to reliable and timely information about campaigns and elections, to safeguard voting so that election results can be easily and publicly verified, and to make the Internet a tool for bringing transparency and public accountability to the role of money in politics.

Here is a review of our 2015 achievements and our top priorities for 2016, which you can support with your generous gift.

1) Top donors to proposition campaigns: In the past year, the Secretary of State and the Fair Political Practices Commission created new tools to help voters identify top donors and total spending on California propositions, resulting from the enactment of two bills - SB 27 and SB 844 - supported by CVF. In 2015, CVF worked with the FPPC to enact new regulations to make it more difficult for Top Ten donors to hide behind committee names. In 2016, California voters will enjoy unprecedented access to official disclosure data providing the top ten donors and total amounts raised for and against every California proposition.

2) California’s vote-by-mail process: In 2015, we helped draft and supported two bills, both signed into law, to reform California's vote-by-mail process, based on recommendations in CVF's landmark 2014 vote-by-mail study and report. SB 365 allows counties to provide mail ballot drop off locations and requires the Secretary of State to regulate best practices for their use. AB 477 gives voters who forget to sign their mail ballot envelopes the right to send their signature in separately from their ballot, up to eight days after the election. By allowing voters to "cure" ballots lacking valid signatures, this reform will help reduce California's vote-by-mail ballot rejection rate, one of the highest in the nation. In 2016, CVF will urge counties to reach out to voters with missing signatures and get on board with best practices for mail ballot drop-off locations.

3) Election funding in the California budget: CVF also wants to restore funding in the state budget to support local election programs, which have been defunded as an austerity measure since 2011. Political leaders indicate they will pursue new funding in the state budget, potentially hundreds of millions of dollars, for a new generation of voting equipment. In 2016, CVF will monitor and participate in the budget process to support additional funding and to ensure transparency, accountability and public oversight in the acquisition of new voting equipment.

4) Official election information online: CVF wants the Secretary of State and the counties to give voters ready access to online tools to help them verify their registration status, locate their polling places, access ballot information, and track the status of their vote-by-mail ballot. We want all voters to have equal access to the online lookup tools that are essential for voter engagement in the 21st century.

2016 will be an exciting election year in California. We have an open-seat contest for President and for a U.S. Senate seat. Working with the Future of California Elections and its constituent groups we want to ensure that when voters look for reliable information online, they find it. We will pursue legislation to allow counties to accept online candidate statements from local candidates, thus charging a fraction of the cost of what it now takes to place a statement in the printed county guide. Those costs are prohibitive for many local candidates and the lack of official statements from "down ticket" candidates deprives voters of essential information they need to make informed choices.

A new "Proposition Song" is also planned for 2016! Stay tuned.

We count on you to contribute to this important work. Your generous contribution will help CVF continue its long, non-partisan tradition of research, advocacy, outreach and election process oversight.

To make your gift, click on the "Donate to CVF online with a Credit Card" link above, or simply write a check to "California Voter Foundation" and mail it to:

California Voter Foundation
P.O. Box 189277
Sacramento, CA 95818

We thank you for your support and wish you a happy holiday season!

Sincerely,

The California Voter Foundation

Kim Alexander, President & Founder

and the CVF Board of Directors:

Cathy Darling Allen

Joseph Lorenzo Hall

David Jefferson

Jack Lerner

Stephen Levine

Mindy Romero

Geoffrey Wandesforde-Smith

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* Using your credit card: CVF uses PayPal's secure server for online credit card donations. If you do not have a PayPal account, simply enter your donation amount and complete the credit card option.

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This page was first published on February 12, 2004 | Last updated on December 17, 2015
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