CVF in the News

Once ballots for the June primary election arrive in the mail, California voters might do a double-take when they find two races with Senator Alex Padilla.

By Chris Nicholos, Jefferson Public Radio, May 5, 2022

Excerpts:

Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Padilla in January 2021 to fill Vice President Kamala Harris’ vacant senate seat after she was sworn in to her new White House position.

Californians elected Harris to the senate in 2016, a six-year term that runs through January 2023. But a law signed by Newsom last year prevents Padilla from finishing Harris’ term as an appointed senator.

Instead, he must compete with a slew of other candidates for both the partial term and for a new six-year stint.

Voting experts say there’s nothing wrong with the ballot. It’s just a strange set of circumstances that California voters will be called upon to sort out — both in the June primary and again this fall in the November general election.

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service, April 25, 2022

Excerpts:

Since 2020, a growing number of election workers have been threatened, harassed, and even spat on - so tomorrow the State Senate Judiciary Committee will hear a bill that would allow them to hide their address from public view. 

Senate Bill 1131 would allow election workers to join the Safe at Home program, which was created 20 years ago to make it harder for perpetrators of domestic violence to track down their victims. Kim Alexander is president and co-founder of the California Voter Foundation, a co-sponsor of the bill

"There are still a number of people who make false claims about the election being stolen," said Alexander. "And the election officials and their staff are on the receiving end of the big lie."

SB 1131 also would change an old state law that required poll workers' names to be posted at polling sites. 

By Greg Lee, KTVU FOX 2, April 5, 2022

Excerpts:

With a political landscape that remains polarized and after several examples of harassment, California lawmakers are now considering a bill to protect election poll workers. 

"People who are frustrated with the conduct of election or the outcome of elections, are starting to take it out on the people administering elections," said the author of the bill, State Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton). 

By Brad Press, The Hill, March 29, 2022

Excerpts:

California's legislature advanced a bill on Monday that would protect election workers in the state by keeping their home addresses and other private information hidden from the public.

The California Senate Elections Committee unanimously advanced the bill, which seeks to protect election and poll workers via a system similar to the state's Safe at Home program protecting victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Lawmakers introduced the bill in February in response to increased threats and harassment of election workers in the wake of the 2020 election, which saw supporters of former President Trump accuse poll workers of bias in relation to unfounded claims of fraud. 

By Adam Beam, AP, March 28, 2022

Excerpts:

Elections in the U.S. have become so polarizing that California is considering treating poll workers with the same caution as domestic violence victims by letting them keep their addresses hidden from public records.

The California Legislature on Monday advanced a bill that would add some election workers to the state’s “Safe at Home” program that’s lets some people to keep their physical addresses secret. The program was originally designed to protect domestic violence victims, but has since been expanded to include people who work at abortion clinics and their patients.

By M. Mindy Moretti, Electionline, March 10, 2022

Excerpts:

 Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley is a bit of a Renaissance man.

Before joining the county as chief deputy registrar, Kelley worked in a variety of fields including retail, law enforcement and he’d served as an adjunct professor with Riverside Community College’s Business Administration Department.

Kelley was hired as chief deputy registrar in 2004, got appointed acting registrar the following year and was named to the position permanently in 2006. He the longest serving Orange County election official and one of the most senior—in experience, not age!—election officials California.

By Matt Vasilogambros, Pew Stateline, March 9, 2022

From her second-floor office window in Medford, Oregon, elections administrator Chris Walker vividly remembers reading the unsettling words painted in big white letters on the parking lot below in late November 2020: “Vote don’t work. Next time bullets.”

Her heart sank, she recalls, wondering whether or when the threat would materialize. Former President Donald Trump had won her southern Oregon community, and despite his lie that the election was stolen, she never expected this anger.

While her office is nonpartisan, Walker, the Jackson County clerk, has been a registered Republican for as long as she’s been able to vote. She’s frustrated to see the amount of election misinformation from members of her party. The pressure from constituents has not let up over the past two years. In emails, she is called a crook and a criminal just for doing her job: running elections.

By Linda So, Rueters, February 18, 2022

Lawmakers in Oregon and California are calling for tougher legislation to protect election workers in response to a continuing wave of threats and harassment inspired by former President Donald Trump's false claims that the 2020 vote was rigged against him.

In Oregon, legislators are considering a measure that would make it a felony to harass or threaten election workers while they are performing their official duties, state officials said. The measure would also exempt the personal information of election workers, such as home addresses, from certain public records.

"In the months leading up to and since the 2020 election, election workers across the country have faced verbal abuse, harassment and violent threats on their lives,” Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, a Democrat, told state lawmakers on Tuesday. “As we head into the 2022 election season, we must do all we can to protect election workers against physical harm fueled by misinformation.”

By Sonseeahray Tonsall, Anisca Miles, Fox 40, December 17, 2021

Redistricting is happening all across the country at all levels.

As the shape of representation is changing from coast to coast, researchers at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences are suggesting the number of people Americans send to the U.S. House of Representatives needs to increase. (full story)

 

By Anisca Miles, Sonseeahray Tonsall, Fox 40, October 29, 2021

Excerpt:

The process of American elections has been the gold standard around the world for decades.

America has farmed out its system to help emerging democracies stabilize their trips to the polls.

Last fall the shine on what was the gold standard became tarnished in many eyes worldwide as the results of the presidential election were challenged without evidence of wrongdoing, and those working the elections became targets.

This week, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, formerly the secretary of state, pressed Congress to do more to protect election workers from harassment and threats.

California Voter Foundation Board of Directors Chairwoman Cathy Darling Allen joined Sonseeahray to discuss the harassment election workers face. (Full Story)

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