FROM:   Kim Alexander, CVF President
DATE:   February 13, 2002
RE:   Election news round-up - tonight's debate and more

Hi Folks,

This edition of CVF-NEWS provides a round-up of election news:

* Republican candidates for Governor debate tonight
* The new "slightly ajar" California Primary
* California voter registration deadline approaching
* More online disclosure improvements at Cal-Access

Republican candidates for Governor debate tonight

Tonight, February 13 at 7 p.m. the three leading Republican candidates for Governor - Richard Riordan, Bill Jones and Bill Simon - will meet at Cal State Long Beach for one final debate before the March 5th Primary. Southern California journalists Dave Bryan of KCAL TV, Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times, and Alex Sullivan KNX radio will ask questions of the candidates during the one hour debate.

Tonight's debate is sponsored by the California Broadcasters Association, which has arranged for the debate to be aired live on at least one radio and one TV station in each market across the state. The debate will also be carried live by KQED FM's "California Report" and broadcast on many California pubic radio stations; you can also hear a live webcast at Tapes of the debate will also be aired on the California Channel and C-SPAN.

The new "slightly ajar" California Primary

The rules for participating in California's upcoming primary have changed once again, following a Supreme Court decision that overturned California's once open, or "blanket" primary system, enacted by voters in 1996 and in effect in 1998 and 2000.

Now, a California voter will only be able to vote for partisan candidates of the party to which the voter is registered, so if you are registered as a Republican you will get a Republican ballot, if you are a Democrat you will get a Democratic ballot, etc.

The one exception are so-called "independent" voters, who select "decline to state" when they register to vote and thus are unaffiliated with any political party. "Decline to state" voters, who make up approximately 15 percent of California's electorate, will be able to choose a partisan ballot from any of the four California political parties that are permitting "decline to state" voters to participate in their primaries. Those four parties include the California Democratic Party, California Republican Party, Natural Law Party of California, and American Independent Party.

Those voters who wish to change their party affiliation to unaffiliated can do so by filling out a new voter registration form and checking the box "decline to state".

California voter registration deadline approaching

Tuesday, February 19 is the last day to register or reregister for the March 5th California Primary election. This year voters have two extra weeks to register, as the Legislature moved the deadline from 29 days prior to the election, to now 15 days prior to the election. (The 15th day actually is Monday, February 18 but since that is a holiday the deadline falls to the next working day, February 19).

Voter registration cards must be postmarked by February 19 in order to qualify for the March 5th election. Cards can be picked up in most public libraries and post offices. You can also download a form in PDF from the Secretary of State's web site, print it, sign it and mail it in. The PDF form is available at For more information, visit CVF's "Voting Questions and Answers" page.

More online disclosure improvements at Cal-Access

The Secretary of State's office has made a series of changes and improvements to their Cal-Access campaign finance disclosure web site over the past few weeks. One of the most significant changes is that they've added the city, state, zip code, occupation and employer fields to their online display of campaign contributions. Previously this information was only available in the PDF display, which does not allow users to sort the data by any of these fields. Now that these fields are also represented in the online display, users can click on the field headers to sort the data by the selected field and can also export it into a spreadsheet for further searching and sorting. Kudos go to all the staff people at the Secretary of State's office who have been working hard to make these improvements.

That's all the news for now. Much more information about the upcoming election is available at our web site,

-- Kim Alexander, California Voter Foundation, (916) 452-7706,

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This page was first published on February 13, 2002 | Last updated on February 13, 2002
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