Kim Alexander is president of the California Voter Foundation (CVF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization she re-founded in 1994 and dedicated to improving the voting process to better serve voters, online at www.calvoter.org. CVF is a longtime leader in advancing the responsible use of technology in the democratic process, by pioneering online voter education, online campaign finance disclosure, and voter-verified paper ballot records and auditing requirements for computerized voting systems.
The Afternoon News with Kitty O'Neal
The two biggest states participating in Super Tuesday represent another story aside from what happens in the Democratic primary: Voting rights.
California and Texas are the most populous states in the nation and the biggest delegate prizes on Tuesday for the presidential contestants. They also present a stark contrast in voting laws.
Deeply Democratic California has taken several steps in recent years to make it easier to register and vote, including pre-registration for teenagers, community drop-off centers for early voting and the ability to register on Election Day.
An estimated 4 million Californians voted before Steyer, Buttigieg and Klobuchar left the race. They won’t get a do over
The sudden retreat of Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer ahead of Super Tuesday has left many Californians who voted early grappling with loss – and regret.
“I was heartbroken,” said Andrea McNew, 44, who had been volunteering for the Buttigieg campaign in San Diego, California. “But I know it’s a tough road to the presidency,” she added. “So we’re working through it”.
McNew was one among an estimated 4 million Californians who mailed in their ballots before the South Carolina results were reported. Based on voting data and polling, about 800,000 Californians likely voted for Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Steyer, according to Paul Mitchell, whose campaign research firm, Political Data Inc, tracks ballots as they are returned. Although many Super Tuesday states allow early voting, California, which has the most delegates to award, has most enthusiastically encouraged it.
There may be plenty of second chances in life, but there are very few when it comes to voting — a bitter pill to swallow for those Californians who voted for any of the presidential candidates who dropped out before Tuesday’s statewide election.
The sudden exit from the race Sunday by Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Ind., sparked some brief interest on social media about the rules governing a possible revote. No doubt similar questions were raised by those who cast early absentee ballots for Tom Steyer, the billionaire climate change activist who left the race Saturday.
The answer, in a word: no. There’s no provision in California election law for a second chance once a ballot has been mailed or cast in person at a polling place or regional vote center.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Major changes to the way people vote have election advocates on edge as Californians cast ballots in a high-profile primary that was moved up from June so the country's most populous state could have a bigger say in picking the Democratic presidential nominee.
More than 2.7 million of 20.6 million registered voters had returned ballots in early voting as of Thursday, Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. California is among several states holding elections on "Super Tuesday," and the state's 416 delegates are a rich prize for the Democrats slugging it out for the nomination.
"We're going into this election with record registration and a whole lot of energy," Padilla said in a phone briefing with reporters Thursday.
More California Counties Moving To Voter's Choice Model
More counties in California are moving away from neighborhood polling precincts during the March 3 primary in favor of vote centers, an expanding election model designed to boost voter participation.
Though fewer in number than traditional polling locations, vote centers are open up to 10 days before the election and allow anyone registered in their county to vote in-person or drop off a mail-in ballot.
The new model was established by the Voter’s Choice Act, which was signed into law in 2016. It allows counties to opt-in to the new system and requires them to send vote-by-mail ballots to all registered voters in their county.
When Los Angeles County set out to build a new voting system from scratch more than a decade ago, election officials knew the challenges in serving an electorate larger than those found in any of 39 states.
But what they didn’t know was that their efforts were on a collision course with a series of statewide election changes and the most consequential presidential primary in modern California history. Should Angelenos not understand what to do or where to go, the effects could be felt both statewide and — in terms of the Democratic presidential race — across the country.
“There’s a lot riding on this,” said Rick Hasen, an election law professor at UC Irvine. “Any time you’re making so many changes at once, people can lose confidence in the system.”
It's early, but a few presidential campaigns seeing the fundraising writing on the wall have "suspended" their quests for the Democratic nomination after dismal performances in New Hampshire. And clarity may be on the horizon: Super Tuesday brings primaries in a number of delegate behemoths — including California.
But the drama may not wait for the close of polls on March 3. In Los Angeles County, by far the largest jurisdiction in the country, voters will be navigating a gauntlet of changes to how they cast their ballots, including new locations and technology.
How are young people looking at the 2020 primaries and the general election? What motivates young voters to cast a vote?
These are the questions organizations all over the country are asking in doing outreach, specifically to young voters. Their focus is also on pre-registering young people to vote, as long as they will be 18 by Nov. 3. What strategies and tactics are these organizations using? Are they different in California?
- California Voter Foundation Founder & President Kim Alexander
- Associated Students Inc. at Sacramento State Civic Engagement Coordinator Savannah Mendoza
- Associated Students Inc. at Sacramento State Board of Directors Director of Social Services & Interdisciplinary Studies Samantha Elizalde
CVF president Kim Alexander was interviewed by "Inside the Issues" host Alex Cohen for Spectrum TV 1 in Los Angeles regarding the county's new Voting Solutions for All People voting system. The interview was featured on Twitter.