CVF in the News

By Chris Nichols, Capital Public Radio, September 22, 2020

Excerpts:

Tuesday Sept. 22 is National Voter Registration Day, a nonpartisan effort that encourages Americans on the fourth Tuesday of September to get ready for the upcoming election. 

In a statement, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla described the day as “the perfect time to sign up” for the millions of Californians who have yet to register. 

All voters must be registered to participate in the November election, which starts in earnest in California in early October when mail-in ballots will be sent out to all active, registered votersin the state.  

In California, you can register, pre-register (if you are 16 or 17) or check your registration at registertovote.ca.gov. Teens who pre-register will receive a confirmation in the mail once they turn 18 stating their voter registration is now active.  

By Chris Nichols, Capital Public Radio, September 18, 2020

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Every election, tens of thousands of California voters have their vote-by-mail ballots rejected, typically because they don’t arrive on time or lack a signature.

But in at least three California counties — Sacramento, Santa Clara and San Mateo — young voters had their vote-by-mail ballots disqualified at three times the overall rate, a new study shows. 

The study, Improving California’s Vote-by-Mail Process by Reducing Ballot Rejection: A Three-County Study, was conducted by the California Voter Foundation, which advocates for improving the election process.

By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet, September 17, 2020

Excerpts:

As half or more of the 2020 presidential election’s votes will be cast on mailed-out ballots, a new study on why absentee ballots were rejected in three urban California counties in 2018 reveals why young voters’ ballots were rejected at triple the rate of all voters.

Nationally, it is well known that absentee ballots arriving after state deadlines, problems with a voter’s signature on the return envelope not matching their voter registration form, or a missing signature account for more than half of all rejected ballots, as the latest federal statistics affirm. But a new California Voter Foundation (CVF) study reveals the most likely causes behind those errors, especially for young voters.

By Foon Rhee, Sacramento News & Review, September 17, 2020

Exerptts:

California is notoriously slow counting all the ballots and calling final election results. This November will likely take even more time with a record avalanche of mail ballots expected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While it’s still seven weeks until Election Day, that’s the message officials are already trying to get out in hopes of avoiding confusion and concern among voters.

By Guy Marzorati, KQED, September 14, 2020

Excerpts:

Young voters are more likely to have their mail ballots rejected than older voters, according to a study out Monday examining voting in Sacramento, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties in the 2018 general election.

The research published by the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation highlights one of the greatest challenges for California's shift towards expanded vote-by-mail this election: the number of ballots that are returned, but not counted because they were mailed too late or lacked an accurate voter signature.

"One of the big changes of vote-by-mail is it shifts the responsibility for getting it right when we vote from the poll worker to the voter," said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation.

Young and newly registered voters had significantly higher rejection rates in three-county study

September 14, 2020

Sacramento, CA -- A new report finds on average 1.7 percent of vote-by-mail ballots cast in California have been rejected over the past decade. In three counties studied, young and newly registered voters were more likely than older voters to have their ballots rejected. 

“Improving California’s Vote-by-Mail Process by Reducing Ballot Rejection: A Three-County Study,” published by the California Voter Foundation, examines the demographics and voting methods of Sacramento, San Mateo and Santa Clara County voters whose November 2018 General Election vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots were rejected, online at: www.calvoter.org/rejectedballots.

By Josh Robin, Spectrum News 1, September 3, 2020

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Americans may turn out in record numbers this election.

But breaking the U.S. record would still leave us far from the top compared to the world’s other democracies. 

As it stands now, we’re not even particularly close when it comes to turnout.

In the last presidential election, a bit more than 55 percent of the voting-age population cast a ballot, well below the global leaders Belgium, Sweden, and Denmark – all around 85 percent.

The participation rates have long caught the interest of public officials – with the middling turnout pinned on the often cumbersome nature of voting, a lack of civic classes in the school curriculum, and even apathy.

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That is the theory in Los Angeles, where voting officials have spent the last decade revamping the way elections are done.

By Chris Nichols, Capitol Public Radio, September 1, 2020

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Widely-shared posts on Instagram on Monday claimed California voters would be “turned away” from in-person polling places on Election Day unless they change their voting preference to “No mail-in voting.” 

Election experts quickly rejected that message. 

We examined the details in this fact check.

Our research

The social media posts include an image of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and allege he changed the voting preference for “EVERY single voter in CA” to “vote by mail.” It goes on to claim that this move will lead to people being turned away at polling places unless they make a change to their voter preference.

By Chris Nichols, PolitiFact, August 31, 2020

Excerpts:

Widely-shared posts on Instagram on Monday claimed California voters would be "turned away" from in-person polling places on Election Day unless they change their voting preference to "No mail-in voting." 

Election experts quickly rejected that message. 

We examined the details in this fact check.

Our research

The social media posts include an image of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and allege he changed the voting preference for "EVERY single voter in CA" to "vote by mail." It goes on to claim that this move will lead to people being turned away at polling places unless they make a change to their voter preference.

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Hosted by Mina KIm, KQED Forum, August 27, 2020

With the 2020 election just over two months away, it’s time to start thinking about the logistics of voting. To make voting easier and safer during the pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill back in May to mail every active registered voter a ballot. But many voters have concerns, such as questions about signature requirements and how to cast a ballot if you’re experiencing homelessness or displacement and don’t have a mailing address. These issues are compounded by the pressure put on the already-struggling U.S. Postal Service to handle an expected record number of mail-in ballots. We’ll answer your questions on how to vote this November.

Guest:  Kim Alexander, president and founder, California Voter Foundation
(Full Audio)

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