FROM:   Kim Alexander, CVF President
DATE:   August 2, 2002
RE:   CVF-NEWS Round-up: voting tech, disclosure & more

Hi Folks,

I recently returned from a vacation through the Pacific Northwest and have been catching up on lots of important developments from the past few weeks. In this CVF-NEWS Round-up:

* CA voting equipment funds allocated by new board
* Citizens' lawsuit challenges Riverside County's touchscreen voting
* CA's Semi-annual campaign disclosure reports now online
* CVF partners with the California Channel's "Free Airtime Project"
* California Politics course at UC Davis starts Aug. 5

CA voting equipment funds allocated by new board

The California Voting Modernization Board met recently for the first time to decide how to allocate the $195 million voters approved in March 2002 when they passed Proposition 41 to upgrade California's voting systems. The Board approved a formula that will award funds to counties based on several factors, including the number of voters in the county and whether the county currently uses the punch card voting system, which must be replaced by March 2004 under a federal court ruling.

To learn more about the funding allocation, read Aron Goetzl's July 26 article in, available at:

A chart showing the allocation formula county-by-county is available at:

Citizens' lawsuit challenges Riverside County's touchscreen voting

Some CVF-NEWS subscribers may already be familiar with a lawsuit pending in Riverside County, filed earlier this year by a group of citizens who oppose the county's use of a paperless, touchscreen voting system. The lead plaintiff on the case, SusanMarie Weber, is representing herself and her lawsuit is currently pending before a federal judge in Los Angeles.

Because I am deeply concerned about the deployment of paperless, touchscreen voting systems I wrote a declaration in support of Ms. Weber's case. My declaration is now available online at In it, I explain in detail why I believe voters will not trust paperless, touchscreen voting systems as they are currently deployed in California. I encourage you to take a few moments to read it -- as always, your feedback is welcome. More information about Ms. Weber and her efforts is available online at

CA's Semi-annual campaign disclosure reports now online

July 31 was the deadline for California campaign committees to file their semi-annual campaign disclosure statements, which include all campaign contributions and expenditures through June 30, 2002. Thanks to California's Online Disclosure Act, any campaign that raises $50,000 or more must file their disclosure reports online. The latest reports can be viewed on the Secretary of State's web site at

A few tips before you begin -- be sure to use the Explorer browser rather than Netscape, and be prepared to wait for the data to load in on your screen, especially if you are looking up a filer who has a lot of records. Our attempts to view large files, either as PDF documents or in HTML, often lead to our browsers freezing up or our computers crashing. It is deeply frustrating to us and many others as well. So have a look, and if you come up with any other tips for viewing the data at this site in an easier way please let us know!

CVF partners with the California Channel's "Free Airtime Project"

Thanks to the good people at the California Channel, statewide candidates will get a healthy portion of free airtime this Fall. Cal Channel is once again producing its award-winning "Free Airtime Project", and has asked the California Voter Foundation to participate in the effort.

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing six of the seven candidates for Secretary of State for fifteen minutes each, on such topics as voting technology, campaign finance disclosure and voter privacy. Interviews with candidates for the other statewide offices are being conducted as well.

Candidates from all political parties are taking advantage of the free airtime offer and have scheduled interviews with Cal Channel; the only major party candidate who has yet to commit to an interview is Governor Gray Davis. Cal Channel anticipates the entire package will be 13 hours of programming and will start airing on TV and on the Web sometime after Labor Day weekend.

California Politics course at UC Davis starts Aug. 5

Next week I begin teaching a six-week summer school course on California politics at UC Davis. My co-instructor for the course is Professor Geoffrey Wandesforde-Smith, who is also chairman of CVF's Board of Directors. This is my third time teaching at UC Davis, but my first time teaching with Geoffrey. We are both excited to get started and already have 47 students signed up for our class. Wish us luck!

That's all the news for now. I also have one "small world" story to share. During my Pacific Northwest adventure I met a woman at a bus stop in Juneau, Alaska. After chatting for a while I learned that she was a California teacher and had used CVF's web site in her class to teach civics to fourth graders! It was a neat experience, after all our travels along the Pacific Coast, to feel that the world really isn't so big after all.

Have a great weekend,

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

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This page was first published on August 2, 2002 | Last updated on August 2, 2002
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