CVF-News is a free, electronic newsletter featuring news and updates about the California Voter Foundation's projects and activities.

County announces it will notify voters with problem signatures on mail ballot envelopes and give them an opportunity to submit a valid signature

April 5, 2018

The Voter's Choice Act is a new California election law that counties can implement if they choose to do so. Five counties - Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento and San Mateo - are piloting this new approach to voting starting with the upcoming June 2018 statewide primary.

Participating counties will mail every registered voter a vote-by-mail ballot and provide secure ballot drop-off locations and vote centers where voters can return their ballots in person, or they can return voted ballots by mail. 

All vote centers are available to all voters county-wide and will open for business ten days prior to Election Day. They replace traditional polling places and will offer additional services to voters such as the ability to register to vote, get a replacement ballot, receive language assistance or vote using an accessible device. 

2018-19 state budget proposal includes major funding to improve California election security

January 11, 2018

In a major departure from his previous budgets, California Governor Jerry Brown's new state budget includes $134.3 million to fund new voting equipment. 

"This is a welcome development and will help build California voters' confidence in the integrity and security of our voting systems," said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, which has consistently supported increased state funding to help pay for California's election costs since 2013. 

Since taking office in 2011, Governor Brown has repeatedly suspended funding for mandated election programs in state budgets. While that policy is likely to continue, the addition of $134.3 million to the budget to help pay up to 50 percent of counties' costs to acquire updated voting equipment respresents a signficant influx of election-related funding to counties. 

Bill would weaken California's election verification law if enacted

October 10, 2017

In the final weeks of this year's legislative session, last-minute amendments were made to Assembly Bill 840, authored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) which would weaken California's post-election verification law.

Known as the manual tally, this 52-year old law is designed to give voters the ability to verify the accuracy of automated vote counts. Counties are required to select one percent of their precincts at random and recount the ballots in those precincts in public, by hand, and verify that the hand-counted totals match the software-counted totals.

Public meetings scheduled for Aug. 16 & 17

August 15, 2017

This past June, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted to implement the Voter's Choice Act, giving Sacramento County Registrar of Voters Jill LaVine and her staff the green light to move forward on a new plan for voting county-wide.

The Voters Choice Act, or VCA, was enacted in 2016 as Senate Bill 450. This new law allows counties to replace neighborhood polling places with a new voting process where every registered voter is sent a vote-by-mail ballot and provided with county-wide drop boxes and vote centers prior to and on Election Day. 

Voters will be allowed to vote at any vote center within the county and receive other voting services at vote centers such as obtain replacement ballots, register to vote, cast regular ballots, use accessible voting devices, obtain language assistance, or receive any needed assistance.

California election bills to watch 

April 20, 2017

The 2017-18 California legislative session is well underway, and the California Voter Foundation is supporting several bills this year:

  • AB 216: Authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), this bill would require counties to provide postage-paid envelopes to vote-by-mail voters. The bill passed out of the Assembly Elections Committee last month, and CVF president Kim Alexander testified in support. 

As stated in CVF's support letter, this bill is needed to reduce voter confusion about postage costs and to ensure younger voters less familiar with the postal service are not disadvantaged when voting by mail, especially given the likely increase in mail balloting with the implementation of the Voter's Choice Act beginning in several counties next year.

  • SB 568 and AB 84: SB 568 is authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and is sponsored by Secretary of State Alex Padilla. The bill, which if enacted would move California's presidential primary to the third Tuesday in March, passed out of the Senate Elections Committee this week on a bipartisan, unanimous vote. To avoid the risk of other states leapfrogging their primaries ahead of California's, the bill also includes a provision that would allow the governor to set the primary date before the third Tuesday in March at least 240 days prior to that date. 

February 23, 1996 to December 6, 2016

A complete archive of past editions of CVF-News, CVF's electronic newsletter, from 1994-2016 can be accessed in the California Voter Foundation Archive