Nearly 20 million Californians are registered to vote in Tuesday's election. That's more than 78 percent of eligible voters and it's the highest number of registered voters ever in the state. Forum takes your voter registration and Election Day questions and we'll check in on how smoothly the voting process is going in the Bay Area. (31 minute audio program)
CVF's Kim Alexander answers listeners' Election Day questions
California's voting rules could mean key races don't get decided for days — or weeks.
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.
Election Eve interview on KCRA TV
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —
Election Day is here. And, California voters may be making some mistakes that could disqualify their ballot.
Voters were asked to check their voter registration status and their polling sites before Tuesday so they don’t run into problems Election Day.
Kim Alexander, president of the California Voters Foundation, breaks down 5 common mistakes people make when voting:
1) Forgetting to Sign Mail-In-Ballot Envelope
The biggest mistake voters make with their mail-in ballots is they forget to sign and date the envelopes.
If the mail-in ballot envelope is not signed and dated, the ballot cannot be validated.
2) Signature is Mismatched
On Election Eve, CVF President Kim Alexander joined KCRA TV News anchor Gulstan Dart on Facebook Live to answer last-minute voting questions. (Video)
16-year-olds can pre-register. Free postage comes next. California is all in on voter access
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.
Here's what happens to your information after you fill out a voter registration form
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)