CVF in the News

By Jon Chrisos, WGME, October 19, 2020

Excerpts:

With about two weeks to go until Election Day, candidates across the country are in the final sprint.

Right now you're probably getting bombarded with texts and calls and finding your social media accounts inundated with personalized political ads.

In the age of social media, personal data is taking center stage in the battle for your vote and political data collection is a booming business.

These targeted messages, designed just for you, have become a powerful tool in the relentless effort to win your vote.

But have you ever wondered how campaigns are getting access to your personal information?

It's incredibly annoying and invasive, president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation Kim Alexander said.

She first started looking into voter privacy more than a decade ago.

Editor’s note: Voting early makes sense this election, but it can backfire when there’s a big campaign development

By Foon Rhee, Sacramento News & Review, October 19, 2020

Excerpts:

It’s a dilemma for voters, especially this election:

You want to get your ballot in early to make sure it’s counted.

But what if there’s a major development in a campaign that would have changed your vote?

It’s possible, for instance, that some early voters in South Sacramento—especially those struggling with skyrocketing rents—might regret their choice.

Les Simmons, who is running against Mai Vang in the Nov. 3 runoff for the District 8 City Council seat, had said he supported the local rent control measure.

By Eric Escalante, ABC 10, October 18, 2020

Excerpts:

Even as California sets records for early voting and advocates call for everyone to get out and vote, there's an important detail voting experts want you to know. Voting isn't a test, and it's OK if you don't want to answer all of the ballot questions.

“It’s perfectly acceptable to vote on one or two contests that you really care about and leave everything else blank," said Kim Alexander, head of the California Voter Foundation (CVF). "Your votes that you cast will be counted, and you’ll be a voter, and that's what’s important.”

Even for experienced voters like Alexander, there's always a question or two without a clear answer or one that has some ambiguity. It's part of the reason why she started the CVF back in 1994.

While she encourages people to use online resources like voter information guides and votersedge.org/CA, she said every voter still has an out.

By Wilson Walker, KPIX 5 CBS, October 16, 2020

Excerpts:

By the end of this Friday, about 22 million Americans will have already voted, almost two million of those here in California. By comparison, there would normally be fewer than 200,000 votes cast in California by now.

It’s being called “an avalanche” of ballots. KPIX 5 checked in on elections officials in Santa Clara County on Friday.

“That process has started already, we’re preparing them. We have about 20,000 that are actually verified, the signatures,” Mendez went on to say.

The early ballots are stacking up inside with workers busy verifying signatures, and getting ballots ready for processing. Outside, voters who have made up their minds continued to pour in.

“I mean, it’s not gonna change,” one voter said, dropping off her ballot. “So, might as well get it done and over with.”

By Zach Fuentes, ABC 10, October 16, 2020

Excerpts:

If you are planning to vote by mail this year, the deadline to register to vote is Monday, October 19.

If you register to vote after Monday and vote in person, you’ll be casting a conditional or provisional ballot. Those only get counted after officials have finished verifying your information which could be after Election Day.

More than 2 million voters in California have already returned their ballots.

By Ben Christopher, CAL Matters, October 16, 2020

Excerpts:

In a press conference seemingly designed to deescalate a week-long legal standoff, declare victory and profoundly confuse the California press corps, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Secretary of State Alex Padilla said they would not be taking legal action against the California Republican Party for its makeshift ballot box program. 

But the two Democrats insisted that the GOP had changed policy in response to their warnings — a claim the Republicans denied. 

“We are not going to mother or shepherd someone through every day of activity, but what we are trying to do is make it clear what the law requires,” said Becerra, two days after he threatened the California Republican Party with criminal prosecution. 

Kim Alexander, of the California Voter Foundation, explains just what ballot harvesting is.

By Mike Duffy, ABC 10, October 14, 2020

Excerpts:

The term “ballot harvesting” is all over the news after the California Republican Party admitted to placing "unofficial" ballot drop boxes in a number of counties around the state. 

Elections officials say it is illegal, but Republicans argue the drop boxes are a legal form of ballot collection.

Kim Alexander, president and founder of the California Voter Foundation, said ballot harvesting is also known as “third party ballot return” and it allows a designated person to deliver a voter’s ballot for them. The process isn’t new but how it’s conducted and what is allowed has changed over the years.

Prior to 2013, a voter had to be ill or disabled for someone else to return their ballot for them. Plus, that person had to be a family member or a member of the same household.

By Tami Abdollah, dot.LA, October 13, 2020

Excerpts:

Minutes into filling out my absentee ballot last week, I was momentarily distracted by my dog Seamus. A moment later, I realized in horror that I was filling in the wrong bubble -- accidentally voting "no" on a ballot measure that I meant to vote "yes" on.

It was only a few ink marks, but it was noticeable enough. Trying to fix my mistake, I darkly and fully filled in the correct circle and then, as if testifying to an error on a check, put my initials next to the one I wanted.

Then I worried. As a reporter who has previously covered election security for years, I went on a mini-quest trying to understand how a small mistake can have larger repercussions. 

By Madeleine Brand, KCRW, October 13, 2020

Excerpts:

The unofficial ballot drop box controversy isn’t the only reason U.S. voters are anxious. People also have questions about mail-in voting, such as how to know if they signed in the right place, and whether their signatures will be recognized.

Kim Alexander, president of California Voter Foundation, says to make sure your ballot signature looks like the one on your driver’s license. 

“If there is a problem with your signature … it doesn’t happen a lot, but it is one of the leading reasons ballots get rejected. Before your ballot would be rejected, your county has to contact you and provide you with a chance to submit a new signature,” Alexander says. “So this is a good reason to sign up for ballot tracking because you will get notified immediately if there is a problem with your ballot or your signature."

But people can end up making all sorts of mistakes. 

By David Rosenfeld and Ryan Carter, Los Angeles Daily News, October 9, 2020

Excerpts:

It wasn’t exactly news to Jonathan Savell that the previous owner of the home he purchased seven years ago was deceased. He bought it on probate.

But when two vote-by-mail ballots showed up this week, one for him and one for the previous owner, it made him wonder about the integrity of the November election. Due to the coronavirus, this is the first year every active voter in the state received a mail-in ballot.

“Everybody has concerns about integrity and stuff. I think that it is not a partisan issue,” said Savell, who lives in Inglewood. “Everybody should be worried. Anyone has the capability of cheating if something is sent their way.”

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