Interview: California Voter Foundation breaks down the ballot process, common mistakes of mail-in voting

By Sonseeahray Tonsall,
Fox 40,
November 6, 2020


With election results in so some states still too close to call, voters may need no greater lesson to teach them that every single vote really does matter.
That’s the message Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation has been trying to convince people of for years, while working on our election systems to make clear votes possible.

“I’m really satisfied with the careful work that elections officials are conducting right now in counting the ballots,” Alexander told FOX40. “A number of the counties are allowing you to watch this process yourself on live webcams, so I think that gives a good degree of transparency.”
With mail-in ballots becoming a tide-turner in many battleground states, Alexander warned that votes can get thrown out because people forget to sign their ballots or their signature doesn’t match their registration. 

“[Vote-by-mail] is a great convenience for a lot of people, but some voters don’t get it right,” Alexander explained. “The leading reason why some vote-by-mail ballots don’t get counted is because they are postmarked too late or arrive too late.”

For instance, Alexander recently got to observe ballots being counted in Sacramento County, and saw that around 57% were postmarked Nov. 4, and thus, could not be counted. 

The foundation conducted a study of the state’s rejected vote-by-mail ballots over the past decade, and 1.7% have been rejected on average, which adds up to a large number of votes not being counted, she added. 

“We do see that young people are having a harder time with vote-by-mail balloting than older mail-in voters,” Alexander said. 

As for the future of mail-in voting, Alexander said she wants to see more uniformity in how voters’ signatures are treated. For instance, some states allow signature curing, such as Nevada and Georgia, while others do not. 

“You should not have your ballot rejected because you forgot to sign the envelope or your signature didn’t match the signature on file that you don’t remember what it looks like,” Alexander said. 

She added that there should be a “grace period” for postmarked dates. (Full Story)