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Dear Friends,

Another election season is rapidly approaching in California and over the past year CVF has been working on behalf of voters to make the election process better for everyone.

We hope we can count on you to contribute to this important work to improve California’s vote-by-mail process, increase voters’ access to online tools and information about proposition donors, and expand voter registration.

Here are the top priorities you can support with your generous year-end gift.

1. Improving the Vote-by-Mail Process: For the first time ever, in November 2012 more than half of California’s voters cast vote-by-mail ballots in a statewide general election. But the growing popularity of vote-by-mail comes with problems. After every major election, tens of thousands of VBM ballots are not counted, mostly because they arrived too late or due to voter error, such as failing to sign the ballot envelope. It is heartbreaking to see these stacks of uncounted ballots piled up in county election offices. California’s vote-by-mail error rate is among the worst in the nation.

CVF is working with election officials and other nonprofits to identify best practices and needed improvements. We are studying the vote-by-mail process in three California counties – Santa Cruz, Sacramento and Orange – and will be recommending voter education and outreach strategies. We will also recommend administrative and legislative changes needed to improve California’s vote-by-mail success rate.

2. Increasing voters’ access to online tools and information about proposition donors: CVF is working to promote and expand access to the online tools and information voters need to cast their ballots and make informed choices. CVF is a member of the Future of California Elections collaborative, a statewide group of local election officials and voting and civil rights organizations working together to share ideas and information about reform and to maximize our effectiveness.

CVF is especially interested in expanding voter access to information about ballot proposition funders. In 2013, for the first time, CVF began supporting two bills – SB 27 and AB 400 – to inform voters about top donors on initiative petitions and in the ballot pamphlet. We also want the Secretary of State to improve Cal-Access, the state’s online campaign disclosure system.

3. Expanding voter registration: California has implemented online registration – a great improvement but there is still much work to do to increase our voter registration rate. We rank 45th among the states in eligible voter registration with almost six million Californians eligible but not registered to vote.

CVF and other nonprofits particularly want to make sure that the public has access to registration applications and assistance through Covered California (the state’s new health care exchange) and other public agencies, as required under federal and state laws. The health care exchange presents an unprecedented, once-in-a-generation opportunity to connect with hundreds of thousands of Californians who are not registered or need to update their registration and, thus, expand California’s number of registered voters.

In 2014, CVF will again provide voters with reliable access to nonpartisan election information and work to see that statewide contests, especially for Secretary of State – an open-seat contest for the first time in eight years – garner the public interest and media attention they deserve.

We hope we can count on you to help! With your generous contribution CVF can continue its long non-partisan tradition of research, outreach and election process oversight.

To make a 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: Geoffrey Wandesforde-Smith, Joseph Lorenzo Hall, David Jefferson, Jack Lerner and Stephen Levine

 

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This page was first published on February 12, 2004 | Last updated on January 16, 2014
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