News

Voting surge expected for California June primary election

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Neighborhood polling places are history in five California counties: Sacramento, Nevada, Napa, San Mateo and Madera.

They are being replaced by one-stop vote centers, drop boxes and voting by mail. The changes are part of the Voters Choice Act, designed to give Californians more choices on how they can vote. 

At the Sacramento County Elections office, hundreds of ballots are arriving each day. 

Confusion over 'independent' voters in California prompts redesign of voter registration card

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The card millions of Californians use to register to vote is receiving its first makeover in more than a decade, inspired in part by confusion over how to become an "independent" unaffiliated voter — a problem highlighted by a Los Angeles Times investigation in 2016.

"It's an issue that's been lingering for years," said Secretary of State Alex Padilla. "But that was the first time it was really in the spotlight."

Sacramento County moving ahead with Voter's Choice Act implementation

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. 

NorCal county registrars say hacking won't happen here

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Improving voter confidence in the elections process is part of Kim Alexander's mission at the nonprofit California Voter Foundation.

"When they say the Russians are going to come back, I don't think they're kidding about that," Alexander said.

Despite the threat of hacking in the 2018 election, Alexander said California is much better protected than other states because of paper ballots.

"The combination of a paper-based voting system and routine auditing of election results means that if something happened to our vote count and someone tried to intervene with the election, we would likely detect it," Alexander said. "And we would be able to recover from it."

Governor Jerry Brown proposes spending $134.3 million on new voting systems

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. 

Governor Jerry Brown proposes spending $134.3 million on new voting systems

Sacramento, CA -- 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. 

Letter: Gov. Brown, don’t make it easier to meddle in our elections

Re: “Here’s how Jerry Brown can help protect vulnerable people, voting integrity and local control” (Editorials, Sept. 28) and “Brown should help ensure election integrity by signing this bill” (Another View, Sept. 30): With recent news of Russian scanning of state technology websites, this is not the time to reduce California’s manual 1 percent audit practice, which is designed to detect errors or manipulations in vote-counting software.

Assembly Bill 840 would invalidate a recent San Diego County court ruling (Lutz v. Vu) that all vote-by-mail ballots must be subject to inclusion in the 1 percent post-election manual tally, a ruling which confirms current practice of many California counties, including Inyo, Santa Clara and San Francisco. 

Sacramento Bee Editorial: Veto AB 840

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California elections officials are proud of the integrity of this state’s elections. Brown ought to help them keep their record of accurate vote counts by vetoing Assembly Bill 840 by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, an East Bay Democrat. The bill zipped through at the end of the legislative session without a no-vote. Legislators must not have been paying attention. 

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