CVF in the News

By John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, July 15, 2020

Excerpts:

San Francisco voters were the second-worst in the state when it came to turning in their mail ballots on time for the March primary election.

More than 9,100 city voters saw their ballots go uncounted either because they weren’t postmarked by the March 3 election day or didn’t arrive in the mail by the March 6 deadline, according to a new study by the California secretary of state.

Statewide, late ballots counted for more than 70% of rejected mail-in votes.

“When people voted late, a lot of them put their ballots in that big blue (mail) box on election day, not realizing that they wouldn’t be picked up on time,” said John Arntz, San Francisco’s elections chief.

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By Melissa Culross, KCBS, July 12, 2020

A non-profit that works to improve the election process in the Golden State is $25,000 richer this weekend.

And KCBS Radio reporter Melissa Culross tells us the California Voter Foundation will be using that money to help people cast their ballots in November. (Full Audio)

By Michael R. Blood, AP News, July 12, 2020

Excerpts:

More than 100,000 mail-in ballots were rejected by California election officials during the March presidential primary, according to data obtained by The Associated Press that highlights a glaring gap in the state’s effort to ensure every vote is counted.

With the coronavirus pandemic raging, California is part of a growing number of states increasing mail-in balloting to avoid crowds at polling places. President Donald Trump is among those questioning the integrity of vote-by-mail elections while supporters say they are just as reliable as polling places and offer greater flexibility for voters. 

But while polling places include workers who can assist people who have questions about filling out ballots, a voter doesn’t have support at home and so problems can arise.

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By Sonseeahray Tonsall, Fox 40, June 30, 2020

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that one in four votes was cast by mail in 2018, a practice that’s been on the rise steadily since 1996.

One expert at Loyola Law School who has studied the mail-in process between 2000 and 2014 has found just 31 instances of voter fraud over a period when more than one billion votes were cast.

Kim Alexander, the founder and president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation, spoke to Sonseeahray about the mail-in situation in the Golden State

By KQED's Scott Shafer, for WBUR's Here and Now June 23, 2020
By Scott Shafer, KQED, June 18, 2020

Excerpts:

Come November, every California voter will likely have the option of voting by mail.

To Democrats that seems like a no-brainer, given the pandemic. But to some Republicans it's a recipe for a "rigged election."

Last month, when Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered that all registered voters in California be sent a mail-in ballot for the November election, President Donald Trump was immediately tweeting — and questioning the validity of that process.

"They send out, like in California, millions and millions of ballots to anybody that’s breathing," Trump said during a White House event.

Trump continued: "So when he sends out 28 million ballots and they’re in all the mailboxes and kids go and they raid the mailboxes and they hand them to people who are signing the ballots at end of the streets, which is happening."

By Ben Christopher, CalMatters, June 12, 2020

Excerpts:

If Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to make the November 2020 election a socially-distanced affair, he may need the Legislature’s help after all.

This morning, a California district court judge in Sutter County put a hold on an executive order inked by the governor last week that specified how county registrars should conduct the coming presidential election. The governor’s goal: make sure that all registered voters receive a ballot in the mail to keep as many people as possible away from the polls — and each other.

In response to a challenge brought by Republican Assemblymen James Gallagher of Yuba City and Kevin Kiley of Bieber of Rocklin, Judge Perry Parker agreed that Newsom’s directive may be an “impermissible use of legislative powers in violation of the California Constitution.” 

The temporary hold on the gubernatorial order will last until the case can go to trial.

By Kammi Foote and Kim Alexander, CalMatters, June 3, 2020

The November election is just five months away, yet there is still uncertainty about how Californians will be voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Counties and voters need guidance now, before we run out of time to make necessary changes to have a safe and secure election. The longer we wait, the more room for error and confusion. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order directing counties to mail every registered voter a ballot, which has now been challenged with lawsuits, leaving the final determination in legal limbo.
Voters should be assured  they need not choose between their health and democracy. In California, anyone can request a ballot be sent to them through the mail. Nearly three-fourths of primary voters in March cast vote-by-mail ballots, returned by mail or in person to a drop box or voting location

By Chris Nichols , CapRadio, June 2, 2020

Excerpts:

Voting by mail isn’t new in California. It’s been allowed for anyone who’s registered, and for any reason, since 1979, according to the California Voter Foundation. 

But with fears that casting a ballot in-person could be risky this fall amid COVID-19, plus President Donald Trump’s misleading claims that mail-in voting “will lead to massive fraud and abuse,” there’s a spotlight on this decades-old practice.

California and many other states are getting ready for a surge of absentee voting. In May, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all counties to send mail-in ballots to all active registered voters in the state. 

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GOP groups filed a lawsuit to halt the order, saying it invites theft and cheating and that only the Legislature, not Newsom, has the power to change election laws. State lawmakers have proposed a similar law. 

By Stephanie Lin, KCRA, May 9, 2020

Excerpts:

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new executive order Friday requiring all counties to provide mail-in ballots to California's 20.6 million registered voters due to concerns about the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"[We want] to make sure we are reaching out to all registered and eligible voters and giving them the opportunity and the choice so they don't have to feel like they have to go into a concentrated, dense environment, where their health may be at risk," Newsom said. 

Here are three things you need to know about the new executive order:

1) First in the nation

California is now the first state in the U.S. to provide absentee ballots to all registered voters as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. 

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