CVF in the News

By Tim Foster & John Howard, Capitol Weekly, April 20, 2020

Following the harrowing scenes of voters braving long lines and exposure to the coronavirus during Wisconsin’s primary election last week, there is a renewed discussion of the importance of vote-by-mail options.

California has long been a leader in this area, but could we see an all mail-in election by November? Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation joins the Capitol Weekly Podcast’s Tim Foster and John Howard to chat about the positives and negatives of vote-by-mail, and she offers some surprises — including the high number of rejected mail-in ballots and the lowdown on voter fraud.

(Listen to podcast)

By Laurel Rosenhall, CalMatters, March 27, 2020

Excerpt:

Initiative proponents have until the end of April to collect the signatures they need to put their ideas on the ballot — and with millions of Californians staying home, some campaigns won't have time to collect enough signatures. 

California voters may experience a small silver lining amid the coronavirus pandemic: a shorter November ballot, featuring fewer of the statewide propositions that often put voters in the middle of confusing industry fights. 

Initiative proponents have until the end of April to collect the signatures they need to put their ideas on the ballot — and with millions of Californians staying home, and practicing social distancing when they go out, it may be impossible for some campaigns to collect enough signatures in time. 

By Maris Lagos, KQED Radio News, March 27, 2020

Excerpt:

California officials say the state will be ready for the November general election, despite the coronavirus pandemic. But questions remain about key issues, including whether groups pushing ballot measures will be able to collect signatures before the June deadline given current social distancing requirements.

It also remains unclear whether traditional polling places will be up and running by the fall, given concerns about the virus. In the March 3 primary election, 75 percent of registered voters in California received a vote-by-mail ballot — and Secretary of State Alex Padilla said he is confident that counties can expand that number to all voters by the fall.

Padilla said his office is working with counties to ensure that by November, anyone who wants a ballot in the mail gets one — and safe opportunities will be available for people to vote in person if they prefer.

By Saul Gonzalez, KQED's California Report, March 5, 2020

Many voters in Los Angeles County had to stand in line for hours to vote on Super Tuesday. There were reports of glitchy equipment and confused staff, even though L.A. County was using new touch screen machines that were supposed to make voting faster and more convenient.

Guest: Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation (audio)

By Rebecca Plevin, Desert Sun, March 4, 2020

Excerpts:

Chuck Yates arrived at his Palm Springs polling place on Super Tuesday, prepared to vote by paper ballot as he always has. But things didn’t go as he had planned.

“I showed up, I gave my name and they said, ‘you voted by mail,’’ he said. “I said, ‘no, I didn’t.’”

A poll worker handed him a provisional ballot, which he begrudgingly filled out.

Two other longtime Coachella Valley voters told The Desert Sun they had similar experiences. They said they went to their polling places on Election Day, intending to vote in-person, only to be told they had received a mail-in ballot at home. They said poll workers offered them the option of casting a provisional ballot.

By Aaron Mendelson, LAist, March 4, 2020

Excerpt:

Combined with more than half a million votes that the registrar has received through the mail, that would already represent a 13% turnout for L.A. County, if all the votes cast so far are counted.

The new system has its advantages, says Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation, a voter outreach and research nonprofit. She said there have been bumps as the new system has been rolled out, but called the vote centers “a good fail safe for a place like Los Angeles where we have millions of voters.”

There are nearly a thousand voting centers to choose from, but many longtime polling places won’t be open this year.

I caught up with Alexander while she was driving between vote centers in Watts and Culver City to see how the new system was working.

She said she saw lines growing this morning, which could signal long waits tomorrow.

By The Associated Press, New York Times, March 4, 2020

Excerpt:

A series of changes in California meant to boost voter turnout and smooth its new Super Tuesday primary election led to a surge in last-minute voters, computer problems and short-staffing that appeared to catch elections officials by surprise, triggering scathing criticism Wednesday. 

Long lines, sluggish computer connections and general confusion plagued polling places statewide — raising serious questions about the ability of the most populous state to handle November's general election, when millions more voters are expected. Critics called for an overhaul before then.

By Staff, CBS Sacramento, March 3, 2020

Excerpts:

Officials in California are bracing for long lines and urging patience as voters cast ballots on “Super Tuesday” in what could be record turnout for a presidential primary election.

A fraction of the 20.7 million registered voters in the heavily Democratic state has already returned ballots in early voting, which started last month. Officials expect the bulk of ballots to be cast Tuesday.

Enthusiasm is high among Democrats eager to elect a candidate they hope can oust President Donald Trump in the fall, and California moved up its primary from June to March so voters could weigh in earlier.

By Aaron Mendelson, LAist, March 3, 2020

Excerpts:

Voters in Los Angeles and Orange counties are trying out something new: Vote Centers.

Instead of traditional neighborhood polling places, these centers let voters cast a ballot in-person at any location in the county -- as many as 11 days prior. Early returns show that more than 200,000 people in L.A. County have already used the new centers to cast a ballot, Mike Sanchez of the LA County Registrar-Recorder’s told me.

-- - - - - - - -

The new system has its advantages, says Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation, a voter outreach and research nonprofit. She said there have been bumps as the new system has been rolled out, but called the vote centers “a good fail safe for a place like Los Angeles where we have millions of voters.”

By Michael Krasny, KQED, March 3, 2020

Excerpts:

For the first time since passing a 2017 law moving California's primary election date from June to March, the state's nearly 20 million registered voters are able to cast their ballots on Super Tuesday. California is one of 20 states allowing same-day voter registration where citizens can cast a provisional ballot. We'll take your voter registration and Election Day questions and we'll check in on how smoothly the voting process is going in the Bay Area.

Need to contact your county's election office with any questions, including about your polling place or voter registration status? (Full Audio)

Pages