CVF in the News

By John Myers, Los Angeles Times, June 10, 2021

Exerpts:

An analysis released Thursday projects the recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom will cost at least $215 million, less than what elections officials initially estimated but a large enough price tag that local governments across California will need the state to pick up the tab.

Legislative leaders quickly seized on the estimate provided by the state Department of Finance as fulfilling a mandate under state law to fully assess the costs of the recall — potentially speeding up by some two months the special election in which voters could oust Newsom from office.

Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) said Thursday that they will include the projected cost in the state budget that must be enacted by the end of the month.

By Kim Alexander and Grace Gordon, electionline Weekly, June 10, 2021

Imagine if your job responsibilities caused strangers to call you and threaten you and your family with violence. Public servants performing one of the most crucial functions in our society—the administration of the vote—are being subjected to exactly that.

A new report released this week by the California Voter Foundation sheds light on the serious and dangerous problem of harassment faced by U.S. election officials.

“Documenting and Addressing Harassment of Election Officials” features findings from interviews with eleven election officials from six states and eight election experts from different sectors. The election officials were selected based on their experience with or perspective of harassment. Their identities are anonymous for their protection and privacy.

KQED's Natalia Navarro interviews Kim Alexander about CVF's new report documenting and addressing harassment of election officials

By KQED News June 8, 2021

Hear Kim Alexander's interview with KQED's Natalia Navarro about the new CVF report documenting and addressing harassment of U.S. election officials resulting from the 2020 presidential election
(audio file

 

 

By Joe Garofoli San Francisco Chronicle May 9, 2021

Excerpts:

Californians shouldn’t look at voter suppression as something happening only in faraway states, like Georgia, Texas and Florida. A more subtle, insidious form of the fallout from Donald Trump’s big lie about widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential race is permeating California.

The lie is gaining enough traction to alarm voting officials, starting with California Secretary of State Shirley Weber. She’s met with nearly every county registrar of voters since taking office in February, and many told her that right-wing agitators are making their job more difficult.

“They’re attacking almost every registrar of voters that I have in the state of California who is trying to do their job,” Weber told the Black Caucus at the California Democratic Party convention recently.

By Guy Marzorati, NPR, April 27, 2021

California's top election official has announced that organizers of a campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom have submitted enough valid signatures to place the question before voters later this year.

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NEWSOM: ...Because in these elections, who knows what can happen?

MARZORATI: It's not lost on Newsom that the only other governor to face a recall in California, fellow Democrat Gray Davis, was removed by voters in 2003. But Davis faced very low approval ratings and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger on the ballot. Newsom's approval rating stands at 53% among likely voters according to the Public Policy Institute of California. This year's recall is likely to set records for its cost.

KIM ALEXANDER: The registrars are anticipating that it could cost as much as $400 million to conduct this special recall election.

By John Myers, Los Angeles Times, April 26, 2021

Exceprts:

It’s well known that elections have consequences. They also have price tags.

With signs pointing to a special election this fall at which voters could remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office, local officials from across California believe the cost of conducting the election could run as high as $400 million.

The estimate is four to five times higher than rough guesses bandied about in recent months and is equal to a cost of about $18 per registered voter — more than double what local elections officials say was spent on California elections in 2018.

It’s a price they say counties, which are struggling to cover pandemic-related costs for health and human services programs, will need the state to cover.

By Sophia Bollag, The Tribune, April 19, 2021

Excerpts:

With a likely recall looming, Gov. Gavin Newsom is shoring up his base of supporters using national Democratic stars, small-dollar fundraising pleas, and even his own “petition.”

“Join Stacey Abrams, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren: add your name to our NEW petition of Californians who say they OPPOSE the Republican Recall of Governor Gavin Newsom,” the campaign wrote in an email linking to a form where people are asked to provide their names, email addresses and zip codes. 

It’s not a traditional petition, which are typically used to ask for a government action.

Instead, it’s an effort to collect contact information from supporters, said anti-recall spokesman Nathan Click.

Experts say the tactic is common among political campaigns, but it’s one that could confuse voters

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By John Myers, Los Angeles Times, April 12, 2021

Excerpts:

If all politics is truly local, it should be huge news when someone like Kammi Footedecides enough is enough.

As the registrar of voters for Inyo County, Foote spent 14 years on democracy’s front lines in a job that is equal parts educator and administrator. California gives wide latitude to its 58 counties in how to run elections, and a corps of veteran registrars call the shots across the state.

But something has changed. Registrars with decades of experience are calling it quits, stymied by the ever-growing list of election mandates that come without the funding to make them a reality — made worse by the personal and professional threats made by voters amped up on partisan rage and destructive conspiracy theories.

By Ben Christopher, Cal Matters, April 8, 2021

Excerpts:

And there’s the rub: California’s next primary election is set for June 7, 2022 and the 2020 Census data — that first step — is really, really late, partly due to the pandemic.

California can expect some preliminary information to trickle in later this month. That will let us know, for example, whether we as a state are due to lose at least one of 53 congressional seats, as is widely expected. 

But the more granular data needed to start mapmaking won’t arrive until around August. The data wizards hired by the state will need another month to clean it up and, among other details, figure out where to place the prison inmates. 

By John Myers, Los Angeles Times, March 22, 2021

Excerpts:

It has been a touchstone of California politics over the past three decades that the fastest-growing group of the state’s voters was shunning partisan labels in favor of being identified as unaffiliated voters, engaged in politics but not parties.

The 30-year run for that bit of conventional wisdom has, at least for now, come to an end

Friday’s report from Secretary of State Shirley Weber, a biennial look at voter registration in between scheduled statewide elections, tallied 22.1 million registered voters, a historic 88% of all eligible Californians. And as it’s been for much of the past century, Democrats accounted for the largest share — 46.2% of the registered electorate and near double the percentage of Republicans.

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