CVF in the News

KPCC/LAist October 1, 2020

Things are different and there are questions. We're answering them live. 

The next election is speeding toward us on a runaway train of rhetoric, doubt, and deterrents. 

We have some facts, instead.

Election Day is technically November 3, but early voting starts soon after October 5 when ballots begin shipping out to every active, registered voter in California. 

In L.A., we'll be voting on: the next president of the United States, the head of the largest prosecutor's office in the country, affirmative action, a possible rollback of California Proposition 13, and much more. 

Pressure is high. But it's 2020, so the intensity doesn't end there. The actual process of voting is also different.

You'll be doing it possibly by mail, or at a new vote center, in the time of a historic pandemic, in the midst of a fury over racial inequity and police brutality, while the Golden State burns in the orange glow of climate change. 

iHeart Radio, September 27, 2020

In today's episode, Kris explains the process for getting propositions on the ballot and why California is unique (Full Audio)

By Tierney Sneed, Matt Shuham, Kate Riga and Josh Kovensky, Talking Points Memo September 25, 2020

Excerpts: 

Our journey through America’s varying levels of pandemic-voting preparedness continues this week with looks at Arkansas, California, Illinois, New Jersey and Vermont.

Every week, we’re looking at what states have done — or not done — to make voting easier during the coronavirus outbreak, where the fights over those moves have been the most contentious, and which states feature the kind of competitive races that could make things extra messy and volatile come November.

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California

If you want to know how serious California’s politicians are about mail-in voting during the COVID-19 pandemic — or at least, how serious they are about looking serious — check out the new bill signed into law on last week: SB 739 makes it a misdemeanor to intentionally mislead Californians about their right to vote by mail.

By John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle September 23, 2020

Excerpt:

California’s youngest voters are three times more likely to have their mail ballots rejected than voters as a whole, a new study has found, highlighting a problem that could grow as more of those inexperienced voters turn out in November.

A study by the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation of three California counties — Sacramento, San Mateo and Santa Clara — found that in the November 2018 election, voters ages 18-24 made up the smallest number of mail voters of any age group, but had by far the highest number of rejections.

“With young and new voters the high rejection rate persists, even though the state has made a lot of changes to bring it down,” said Kim Alexander, the foundation’s president and author of the report.

By Chris Nichols, Capital Public Radio, September 22, 2020

Excerpts:

Tuesday Sept. 22 is National Voter Registration Day, a nonpartisan effort that encourages Americans on the fourth Tuesday of September to get ready for the upcoming election. 

In a statement, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla described the day as “the perfect time to sign up” for the millions of Californians who have yet to register. 

All voters must be registered to participate in the November election, which starts in earnest in California in early October when mail-in ballots will be sent out to all active, registered votersin the state.  

In California, you can register, pre-register (if you are 16 or 17) or check your registration at registertovote.ca.gov. Teens who pre-register will receive a confirmation in the mail once they turn 18 stating their voter registration is now active.  

By Chris Nichols, Capital Public Radio, September 18, 2020

Excerpts:

Every election, tens of thousands of California voters have their vote-by-mail ballots rejected, typically because they don’t arrive on time or lack a signature.

But in at least three California counties — Sacramento, Santa Clara and San Mateo — young voters had their vote-by-mail ballots disqualified at three times the overall rate, a new study shows. 

The study, Improving California’s Vote-by-Mail Process by Reducing Ballot Rejection: A Three-County Study, was conducted by the California Voter Foundation, which advocates for improving the election process.

By Foon Rhee, Sacramento News & Review, September 17, 2020

Exerptts:

California is notoriously slow counting all the ballots and calling final election results. This November will likely take even more time with a record avalanche of mail ballots expected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While it’s still seven weeks until Election Day, that’s the message officials are already trying to get out in hopes of avoiding confusion and concern among voters.

By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet, September 17, 2020

Excerpts:

As half or more of the 2020 presidential election’s votes will be cast on mailed-out ballots, a new study on why absentee ballots were rejected in three urban California counties in 2018 reveals why young voters’ ballots were rejected at triple the rate of all voters.

Nationally, it is well known that absentee ballots arriving after state deadlines, problems with a voter’s signature on the return envelope not matching their voter registration form, or a missing signature account for more than half of all rejected ballots, as the latest federal statistics affirm. But a new California Voter Foundation (CVF) study reveals the most likely causes behind those errors, especially for young voters.

By Guy Marzorati, KQED, September 14, 2020

Excerpts:

Young voters are more likely to have their mail ballots rejected than older voters, according to a study out Monday examining voting in Sacramento, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties in the 2018 general election.

The research published by the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation highlights one of the greatest challenges for California's shift towards expanded vote-by-mail this election: the number of ballots that are returned, but not counted because they were mailed too late or lacked an accurate voter signature.

"One of the big changes of vote-by-mail is it shifts the responsibility for getting it right when we vote from the poll worker to the voter," said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation.

By Josh Robin, Spectrum News 1, September 3, 2020

Excerpts:

Americans may turn out in record numbers this election.

But breaking the U.S. record would still leave us far from the top compared to the world’s other democracies. 

As it stands now, we’re not even particularly close when it comes to turnout.

In the last presidential election, a bit more than 55 percent of the voting-age population cast a ballot, well below the global leaders Belgium, Sweden, and Denmark – all around 85 percent.

The participation rates have long caught the interest of public officials – with the middling turnout pinned on the often cumbersome nature of voting, a lack of civic classes in the school curriculum, and even apathy.

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That is the theory in Los Angeles, where voting officials have spent the last decade revamping the way elections are done.

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