CVF in the News

By John Myers, Los Angeles Times, December 11, 2020

Excerpts:

Final election results show almost 17.8 million Californians cast ballots in the election that ended on Nov. 3, the highest percentage of eligible voters to participate in a statewide election since 1952 and the third-highest percentage since 1910.

But this year’s participation by 70.8% of eligible voters may be even more historic due to the lower voting age. Since the passage of a constitutional amendment in 1971 to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, no California election has come close to turning out as many eligible voters.

“This was an election unlike any other in modern American history,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a video posted online Friday afternoon. “And it would not have been possible without the contributions of elections officials and poll workers alike. Their work maintained the resiliency of our democracy during a global health crisis.”

Exit Interview: Gail Pellerin

By M. Mindy Moretti, Electionline, December 10, 2020

Excerpt:

After 27 years in the elections world, Santa Cruz County, California’s Gail Pellerin is stepping down effective December 30 at the end of what she called “an extraordinary year” and certainly at the end of an extraordinary career.

“November 3, 2020 was my dream election! Turnout was at an all-time high, everyone was talking about voting, enthusiasm was off the charts, and voting was cool!!” Pellerin said. “I think I would be disappointed to conduct another election that did not equal that same level of voter interest in engagement.”

Pellerin began her career as a journalist. She went on to be a legislative staffer for the California General Assembly before she became Santa Cruz County’s election manager from 1993 to 2004. In 2004 she was appointed clerk/registrar of voters was elected to her fourth term in 2018.

By Lewis Griswold, CAL Matters, November 24, 2020

Excerpts:

Californians faced the naysayers and voted by mail in record numbers this election, potentially avoiding a pandemic super spreader event and showing the nation it could be done.

CalMatters interviewed voting officials in most of the state’s 58 counties and their verdict is in: The experiment with voting by mail saw few glitches, little drama and, instead, might well provide a blueprint for future elections across the country.

Indeed, state officials are already talking about plans to make voting by mail permanent for the biggest state in the union and its 22 million registered voters.

Besides the unprecedented challenge of conducting the election in a pandemic, voting officials also had to deal with a deep, partisan divide that helped to fuel widespread misinformation about election security.

By Lewis Griswold, CAL Matters, November 24, 2020

Excerpts:

Californians faced the naysayers and voted by mail in record numbers this election, potentially avoiding a pandemic super spreader event and showing the nation it could be done.

CalMatters interviewed voting officials in most of the state’s 58 counties and their verdict is in: The experiment with voting by mail saw few glitches, little drama and, instead, might well provide a blueprint for future elections across the country.

Indeed, state officials are already talking about plans to make voting by mail permanent for the biggest state in the union and its 22 million registered voters.

Besides the unprecedented challenge of conducting the election in a pandemic, voting officials also had to deal with a deep, partisan divide that helped to fuel widespread misinformation about election security.

By Guy Marzorati, KQED, November 13, 2020

Excerpts:

Election officials across California are breathing a sigh of relief: An election that combined unprecedented changes and unmatched scrutiny amid a global pandemic resulted in historic levels of participation and few widespread issues.

Some features of this year's vote will hopefully go down as historical aberrations, like poll workers in protective gear and masked voters physically distanced in voting locations stocked with hand sanitizer.

Other alterations brought on by the coronavirus — such as the expansion of voting by mail and the shift away from assigned polling places — could spur long lasting changes to the way in which Californians cast their ballots.

By John Wilkens, The San Diego Union-Tribune, November 7, 2020

Excerpts:

Of all the societal changes brought by the novel coronavirus, the one that lasts the longest might be the one we just went through: Everyone voting by mail.

Already the method preferred by more three-fourths of San Diego County’s voters, its apparent success in the just-concluded election has some officials talking openly about making it permanent.

“Whether it’s enacted statewide by the legislature, or whether we adopt it on a county level with some tweaks, I think it’s here to stay,” said Nathan Fletcher, a county supervisor. “We should be doing everything we can to make it possible for valid votes to be counted.”

By Sonseeahray Tonsall, Fox 40, November 6, 2020

Excerpts:

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. 

By KNX 1070, KNX1070AM NEWSRADIO, November 6, 2020

Excerpts:

State leaders are considering making vote-by-mail permanent across California.

It was done for this election statewide because of the coronavirus pandemic.

California Voter Foundation president Kim Alexander tells KNX 1070 News vote-by-mail increases voter turnout but there are some issues that need to be addressed.

Alexander also says vote-by-mail is expensive for counties so the state will need to help them with funding.

"Younger voters are having a harder time with successfully casting vote-by-mail ballots. They have several factors working against them. They are new to voting. They are not accustomed to making signatures and they are not familiar with using the U.S. Mail," Alexander says.

By Bert Johnson, Capital Public Radio, November 6, 2020

Excerpts:

In an election where margins are razor thin, Nevada could play a pivotal role in deciding who will be president of the United States. But observers warn that many mail-in ballots could be left out of the final count. 

According to Heather Carmen, Assistant Registrar of Voters for Washoe County, ballots are most often challenged by officials when the voter’s signature doesn’t match the one on file — or if the ballot was never signed to begin with.

Carmen says if that happens, voters have until Nov. 12 to fix the problem.

“If there is a signature issue, we’ve challenged it for either missing a signature or miscompares,” she explained, “We will send them a letter with three different options on how to, what we call ‘cure’ it.”

By Ryan Carter, Los Angeles Daily News, November 5, 2020

Excerpts:

Los Angeles County voters have done their job. They voted.

But this election won’t really be over until Nov. 30. That’s when the registrar-recorder’s office will deem it “certified.”

Until then, at a giant processing hall at the Fairplex in Pomona, at a tally center in Downey and at election headquarters in Norwalk, a bustling fusion of county staff and temporary workers will continue checking, processing and tabulating nearly 800,000 remaining ballots. And candidates in tight races will have to settle for intermittent updates.

Here’s what you can expect from the L.A. County Registrar of Voters over the next few days in the ongoing effort to finish counting the votes from the general election.

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