CVF in the News

By John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, November 9, 2018

Excerpt:

As state election officials watch an angry President Trump and other partisan leaders slam what they claim are slow vote counts, political influence and delayed results in Florida, Georgia and Arizona elections, they have one thought: That could be California.

Days after Tuesday’s election, a handful of closely watched congressional races in California still haven’t been decided and a final count is days and possibly weeks away.

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The first problem is a simple one: California is a really big state with a lot of people who vote.

By the time all the state’s precincts had reported on election night, about 7.4 million votes had been counted. But by Friday, there were still more than 4.8 million late-arriving and provisional ballots to be tallied.

By Annie Sciacca, Bay Area News Group, November 7, 2018

Excerpt:

Almost a full day after polls closed, counties across the Bay Area still had hundreds of thousands of ballots to count — almost half of the number cast in a couple of cases.

And that’s to be expected as more and more California voters turn to mail-in ballots, which take longer to count, elections staff and experts say.

“This is the new normal,” said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation. “We vote for a month and count ballots for a month in California.”

What’s also lengthened the tallying time is a state law that went into effect in 2015, which allows vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by Election Day and received up to three days later to be counted. Such ballots previously had to be received by Election Day.

As a result, many of the ballots sent close to Election Day don’t get into the hands of counters until later.

California's voting rules could mean key races don't get decided for days — or weeks.

By Kevin Yamamura, Politico, November 5, 2018

Excerpt:  

SACRAMENTO — An election night blue wave Tuesday could slow down considerably by the time it reaches the California coast, making the rest of America wait to see who will control the House in 2019.

Forget staying up all night to find out who won congressional seats here: Strategists and campaign experts say it could take days — if not weeks — to determine victors in a series of tight and closely watched midterm races in Southern California.

The potential long wait is the product of generous provisions for California voters backed by the state's governing Democratic majority, and the continued abandonment of polling places in favor of mail-in ballots, which require more time to count and verify.

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16-year-olds can pre-register. Free postage comes next. California is all in on voter access

By Alexei Koseff, Sacramento Bee/McClathy News, November 1, 2018

Excerpt:

In California, you can register to vote online. You can request a mail ballot without providing a reason. If your ballot is postmarked by Election Day, it can arrive up to three days late and still count. Starting next year, you won’t even need a stamp.

As states across the country have moved aggressively to crack down on alleged voter fraud, California has shifted rapidly in the other direction, passing landmark legislation intended to make it easier to vote and to count as many ballots as possible.

The change has been propelled by voting rights advocates, seeking to fix unintended consequences as a growing majority of Californians vote by mail, and by Democratic politicians hoping to spike plummeting turnout. Many of the new laws aim to boost participation among infrequent voters, such as young people, that generally favor Democrats.

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Here's what happens to your information after you fill out a voter registration form

By Marrian Zhou, CNET, November 1, 2018

Excerpt:

It's scary how much each candidate in the upcoming midterm elections knows about you. And it's all information you've willingly given up over time.

The trove of data goes beyond voter registration information like your name, home address and date of birth. Thanks to an army of data crunchers who marry that information with data you drop at a clothing or automobile site, many candidates often have intimate knowledge of who you are and whether you're likely to support them. 

The increasingly effective use of big data to create targeted political ads is one of the main causes for the climbing costs of running a campaign.

Mailed-in ballots provide convenience and are intended to boost turnout, but it's also easy for voters who use them to miss a step.

By Christina A. Cassidy, The Associated Press, October 30, 2018

Excerpt:

ATLANTA (AP) — Drawing on her years of military experience, Maureen Heard was careful to follow all the rules when she filled out an absentee ballot in 2016.

She read the instructions thoroughly, signed where she was supposed to, put the ballot in its envelope and dropped it off at at the clerk’s office in her New Hampshire town. She then left town so she could return to a temporary federal work assignment in Washington, D.C.

"I have learned over the years, many years in the military of filling out forms, how to fill out forms — and I was very intimidated by the process," said Heard, who served in the Air Force and was a lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard. "I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I have to make sure I get it absolutely right.' And then it didn't count."

California and other key states take a very long time to count votes.

By Daniel Costa-Roberts, Mother Jones, October 30, 2018

Excerpt:

If you’ve been nervously counting down the days until the November 6 election, we’ve got some bad news for you: You might have to wait quite a bit longer before you know who will control the House. That’s because roughly a dozen key races are taking place in states where election officials often spend days or even weeks counting votes, making it difficult for media outlets to project the winners of close contests.

Insight with Beth Ruyak, Capital Public Radio, October 22, 2018

Kim Alexander from the California Voter Foundation goes over the essential details and changes to the process on the final day of voter registration in California. (listen to segment

By Scott Shafer, KQED News San Francisco, October 10, 2018

Excerpt:

Currently, the terms of gubernatorial debates and whether or not they happen are largely dictated by the front-runner. Conventional wisdom says debates are more likely to help the challenger or the candidate who is behind in the polls.

It's true there were plenty of debates before the June primary, including a televised debate in San Jose with the six top-polling candidates for governor. But that's not the same as a one-on-one matchup, where it's harder to skate under the radar.

"The most important thing about debates is that it gets people on the record making commitments before they’re elected," said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation. "It isn’t so much that every registered voter will watch the debate, but rather you have a public record of what they say they'll do if they win."

While debates might not increase voter turnout, at least they would help publicize the fact that an election is happening and who's running, Alexander said. (full story)

By Saul Gonzalez, KCRW FM Los Angeles, October 4, 2018

Excerpt:

Retired high school teacher and Monrovia resident Stephen McCarthy is the kind of careful, consistent responsible voter get-out-the-vote activists dream about.

“I have never missed an election going back to when I had to stamp a paper ballot in 1972, and I have never missed an election since,” Murphy told KCRW recently.

So you can imagine how McCarthy felt, when on primary election day in June, workers at his local polling place told him that both his and his wife’s names weren’t on official voter rosters.

“I was appalled,” said McCarthy. “I was shocked. I was angry.”

McCarthy and his wife were allowed to vote using provisional ballots that get counted after the election, but it was a huge frustration for them. And the McCarthys weren’t the only voters having troubles on Election Day in June.

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