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Inside California's Pandemic Election: How COVID-19 Changes Could Shape the Future of Voting

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Election officials across California are breathing a sigh of relief: An election that combined unprecedented changes and unmatched scrutiny amid a global pandemic resulted in historic levels of participation and few widespread issues.

Some features of this year's vote will hopefully go down as historical aberrations, like poll workers in protective gear and masked voters physically distanced in voting locations stocked with hand sanitizer.

All-mail ballots and multiple-day voting centers may be here to stay

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Of all the societal changes brought by the novel coronavirus, the one that lasts the longest might be the one we just went through: Everyone voting by mail.

Already the method preferred by more three-fourths of San Diego County’s voters, its apparent success in the just-concluded election has some officials talking openly about making it permanent.

Votes In Tightly Contested Nevada Still Need To Be Cured. But What Does That Mean?

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In an election where margins are razor thin, Nevada could play a pivotal role in deciding who will be president of the United States. But observers warn that many mail-in ballots could be left out of the final count. 

According to Heather Carmen, Assistant Registrar of Voters for Washoe County, ballots are most often challenged by officials when the voter’s signature doesn’t match the one on file — or if the ballot was never signed to begin with.

Interview: California Voter Foundation breaks down the ballot process, common mistakes of mail-in voting

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With election results in so some states still too close to call, voters may need no greater lesson to teach them that every single vote really does matter.
 
That’s the message Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation has been trying to convince people of for years, while working on our election systems to make clear votes possible.

California state leaders considering making vote-by-mail permanent

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State leaders are considering making vote-by-mail permanent across California.

It was done for this election statewide because of the coronavirus pandemic.

California Voter Foundation president Kim Alexander tells KNX 1070 News vote-by-mail increases voter turnout but there are some issues that need to be addressed.

Alexander also says vote-by-mail is expensive for counties so the state will need to help them with funding.

California election day 2020: The vote is in

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Today’s the day, and CalMatters has a contingent of Votebeat reporters deployed around the state to bring you round-the-clock coverage of the 2020 Election. More than 11.2 million Californians voted early. Everyone else will cast their ballots in person today and we will be watching how that works, from the count, to any voting interference, to hiccups with poll equipment. Check back often as we update our live coverage.

Election 2020: What we know about how many locals voted and how many ballots left to count

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Ventura County not only had record registration numbers for this election, but also headed into the Election Day with high early turnout.

Back in 2016, the county had received just over 145,000 ballots before the election, according to Miranda Nobriga, spokeswoman for the elections division. This year, 320,498, or 64%, were returned by mail or dropped off by Tuesday.

"So more than twice as many," Nobriga said. "Ventura County voters, they got the message loud and clear to return their ballots early."

There’s Nothing ‘Mysterious’ About California’s Mail-In Voting System, Despite False Facebook Claim

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A provocative but unfounded post from conservative commentator Tomi Lahren has gone viral on Facebook suggesting key states in the presidential race are starting to "flip blue" due to a fraudulent mail-in voting system such as the one used in California. 

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s effort to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about PolitiFact California’s partnership with Facebook.) It received more than 700,000 views and 25,000 likes on the platform by early Wednesday afternoon.

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