CVF in the News

By Julia Wick, Los Angeles TImes, March 5, 2024


Forget election night. Election season has been upon us for weeks, and it won’t be over anytime soon.

California’s prodigious adoption of vote-by-mail balloting has done more than fundamentally alter how we engage in the democratic process. The shift has also necessitated a cultural reconfiguration about election night results, and recast the timeline for learning outcomes in many races.

Definitive answers will likely only be clear in the most lopsided of contests by late Tuesday night. And conclusive results could take days or weeks to emerge in some of the tightest races.

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Think of it this way: When a Californian shows up at a vote center and casts a ballot in person, as was once commonplace, all the verification is done up front at the vote center. When that ballot arrives for tabulation, no extra steps are needed.

A heavy reliance on mail-in ballots, and an extensive review process, can lead to a waiting game for results.

By Corina Knoll, New York Times, March 5, 2024


By Tuesday night in California, the ballots will be cast, but the results for many races may remain uncertain for days, even weeks.

It is a familiar waiting game that is unique to the state, tending to prompt public scrutiny and debate when major races or hot-button issues are at stake.

But the delay is largely connected to the fact that most of the state’s 22 million registered voters cast mail ballots — and to an extensive review process that requires more than placing a ballot through a machine.

In California, that means verifying each mail-in ballot through a series of steps, including checking signatures and making sure voters did not cast another ballot elsewhere.

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By Alexis Madrigal, KQED, March 4, 2024


Tuesday is the final day to cast ballots in this year’s primary election. Voters across the Bay Area will decide on key races for county supervisor seats, state offices, and a slew of measures aimed at addressing mental health, public safety and the region’s homelessness crisis. Some of the races garnering attention include a rare recall election for two San Francisco judges who have been portrayed as soft on crime. In the East Bay, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín is competing with five other candidates for a seat in the state senate. In Napa, voters will decide on three of five supervisor seats. We’ll talk about the races you’re watching and what you need to know going into the primary. (Full Audio)

By Chris Nichols, capradio, March 4, 2024


Once the final ballots are mailed-in, placed in a drop box or cast in-person for California’s March 5 primary election, the attention will turn to the results.

But how quickly will those be made public? And will they tell us the outcome of the races right away?

Election officials and experts say the results will arrive in three separate waves on election night, with the first being released shortly after the polls close at 8 p.m. on March 5.

The first wave will consist of results from the early-arriving vote-by-mail ballots, likely the ones that arrived a few days — or weeks — before the election, Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, told CapRadio in 2022.

The early results will show up on the California Secretary of State’s website. But they won’t necessarily be enough to determine the outcome of close races. 

By Sameea Kamal, CalMatters, March 2, 2024


Between COVID-19 and election fraud conspiracy theories since 2020, it has been a tumultuous time for California’s election workers. 

The state lost 15% of its election officials between the November 2020 election and July 2021, according to the California Voter Foundation, which documented incidents of threats, harassment and stress. While not all left due to safety concerns, more than half of California counties have a new registrar of voters since 2020, compared to 17% turnover between 2016 and 2020.

Soon joining that list is Cathy Darling Allen, the registrar in Shasta County, where officials have faced intimidation and threats by some unhappy with election results. She announced in February that she is retiring in May due to health issues — and reducing stress is essential to recovery.

By Josh Haskell, ABC 7, February 17, 2024


When you go to vote in the California primary, you may be surprised to see that in the race for U.S. Senate, you're asked to vote twice!

Plus, there are more names in the contest for the six-year Senate term, which starts in January 2025 than for the special election, which will last roughly a month once the November results are certified in early December. The point of the special election is to fill out the remainder of late California Senator Diane Feinstein's seat.

Adding to the confusion, Gov. Gavin Newsom's appointment - Laphonza Butler - decided not to run in either contest, so her name is not on the ballot.

By Carly Severn, KQED, February 2, 2024


2024 is another big election year — and before the general election in November that’ll decide the next president of the United States, California has our Presidential Primary Election.

If you’re a registered California voter, your ballot is either on its way or has already arrived in your mailbox. But what if you make a mistake on your ballot as you’re filling it out? Or you’re just not sure how to fill it out in the first place?

Read on to learn how to fill out your ballot, how important your signature is, and your options if you need to start again with a fresh ballot.

First of all: Am I registered to vote?

By Carly Severn, KQED, January 30, 2024


The 2024 general election in November will decide who will be the President of the United States for the next four years. But way before that, California voters have another big election on March 5: Our state’s presidential primary. 

‘The good news is that nobody has to vote with the ballot that they get in the mail if they don’t want to.’ Kim Alexander, president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation

Among other things, the March primary election allows voters to choose the candidate from their preferred political party that they ultimately want to run for president in November. But if you’re registered as a “no party preference” voter (sometimes referred to as an “independent”), you’ll need to take action to be able to vote in these races. Otherwise, the ballot you’ll receive starting in early February won’t have any presidential candidates on it.

By Vicki Gonzalez, CapRadio, January 9, 2024


California is likely to play a more impactful role in the 2024 election as our state’s primary has been moved up to Tuesday, March 5– also known as “Super Tuesday.” Ballots will be sent out next month and voting starts soon after, but there is concern over voter enthusiasm and participation. Joining us to discuss what we all need to know as the primary approaches are Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, and Mindy Romero, founder and director of the Center for Inclusive Democracy. (Full Audio)