CVF in the News

By The Associated Press, New York Times, March 4, 2020

Excerpt:

A series of changes in California meant to boost voter turnout and smooth its new Super Tuesday primary election led to a surge in last-minute voters, computer problems and short-staffing that appeared to catch elections officials by surprise, triggering scathing criticism Wednesday. 

Long lines, sluggish computer connections and general confusion plagued polling places statewide — raising serious questions about the ability of the most populous state to handle November's general election, when millions more voters are expected. Critics called for an overhaul before then.

By Aaron Mendelson, LAist, March 3, 2020

Excerpts:

Voters in Los Angeles and Orange counties are trying out something new: Vote Centers.

Instead of traditional neighborhood polling places, these centers let voters cast a ballot in-person at any location in the county -- as many as 11 days prior. Early returns show that more than 200,000 people in L.A. County have already used the new centers to cast a ballot, Mike Sanchez of the LA County Registrar-Recorder’s told me.

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The new system has its advantages, says Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation, a voter outreach and research nonprofit. She said there have been bumps as the new system has been rolled out, but called the vote centers “a good fail safe for a place like Los Angeles where we have millions of voters.”

By Michael Krasny, KQED, March 3, 2020

Excerpts:

For the first time since passing a 2017 law moving California's primary election date from June to March, the state's nearly 20 million registered voters are able to cast their ballots on Super Tuesday. California is one of 20 states allowing same-day voter registration where citizens can cast a provisional ballot. We'll take your voter registration and Election Day questions and we'll check in on how smoothly the voting process is going in the Bay Area.

Need to contact your county's election office with any questions, including about your polling place or voter registration status? (Full Audio)

The Afternoon News with Kitty O'Neal

By Kitty O'Neal, March 3, 2020

Kim Alexander is president of the California Voter Foundation (CVF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization she re-founded in 1994 and dedicated to improving the voting process to better serve voters, online at www.calvoter.org. CVF is a longtime leader in advancing the responsible use of technology in the democratic process, by pioneering online voter education, online campaign finance disclosure, and voter-verified paper ballot records and auditing requirements for computerized voting systems.

By David Taub, GV Wire, March 3, 2020

Excerpt:

Fresno mayoral candidate Andrew Janz called for Fresno County to extend the time that polls close to 9 p.m. because of voting problems Tuesday morning.

County election clerk Brandi Orth said that polling centers experienced “intermittent connection problems.”

Those computers connected the voting centers to the main county election headquarters and to the Secretary of State’s office.

State officials said that there were glitches in 15 California counties with voting centers.

Janz Says Frustrated Voters Left

Janz said that many people left the voting lines and did not cast ballots. He said the problem could affect people of color more because they tend to vote on Election Day, and before normal work hours. He added that problems were throughout Fresno and not limited to any particular location.

By Kim Zetter, Politico, March 3, 2020

Excerpts:

Los Angeles County spent nine years working on a government-designed and -owned voting system with the goal of setting a new standard for security, reliability and transparency.

Instead, millions of county voters on Super Tuesday will cast ballots on a system in which numerous security flaws were found. This has prompted some election integrity experts to call for barring the system from elections until they’re fully resolved. The issues include multiple digital and physical vulnerabilities, some of them identified in a recent assessment by California’s secretary of state and others identified by outside computer security experts

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Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, a nonprofit that works to improve the voting process, said the county should be commended for building a publicly owned system, but the delay in disclosing the source code is perplexing.

By Staff, CBS Sacramento, March 3, 2020

Excerpts:

Officials in California are bracing for long lines and urging patience as voters cast ballots on “Super Tuesday” in what could be record turnout for a presidential primary election.

A fraction of the 20.7 million registered voters in the heavily Democratic state has already returned ballots in early voting, which started last month. Officials expect the bulk of ballots to be cast Tuesday.

Enthusiasm is high among Democrats eager to elect a candidate they hope can oust President Donald Trump in the fall, and California moved up its primary from June to March so voters could weigh in earlier.

By Geoff Mulvihill, News 12 Brooklyn, March 2, 2020

Excerpts:

The two biggest states participating in Super Tuesday represent another story aside from what happens in the Democratic primary: Voting rights.

California and Texas are the most populous states in the nation and the biggest delegate prizes on Tuesday for the presidential contestants. They also present a stark contrast in voting laws.

Deeply Democratic California has taken several steps in recent years to make it easier to register and vote, including pre-registration for teenagers, community drop-off centers for early voting and the ability to register on Election Day.

An estimated 4 million Californians voted before Steyer, Buttigieg and Klobuchar left the race. They won’t get a do over

By Staff, The Guardian, March 2, 2020

Excerpts:

The sudden retreat of Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer ahead of Super Tuesday has left many Californians who voted early grappling with loss – and regret.

“I was heartbroken,” said Andrea McNew, 44, who had been volunteering for the Buttigieg campaign in San Diego, California. “But I know it’s a tough road to the presidency,” she added. “So we’re working through it”.

McNew was one among an estimated 4 million Californians who mailed in their ballots before the South Carolina results were reported. Based on voting data and polling, about 800,000 Californians likely voted for Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Steyer, according to Paul Mitchell, whose campaign research firm, Political Data Inc, tracks ballots as they are returned. Although many Super Tuesday states allow early voting, California, which has the most delegates to award, has most enthusiastically encouraged it.

By John Myers, Los Angeles Times, March 1, 2020

Excerpts:

There may be plenty of second chances in life, but there are very few when it comes to voting — a bitter pill to swallow for those Californians who voted for any of the presidential candidates who dropped out before Tuesday’s statewide election.

The sudden exit from the race Sunday by Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Ind., sparked some brief interest on social media about the rules governing a possible revote. No doubt similar questions were raised by those who cast early absentee ballots for Tom Steyer, the billionaire climate change activist who left the race Saturday.

The answer, in a word: no. There’s no provision in California election law for a second chance once a ballot has been mailed or cast in person at a polling place or regional vote center.

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