FROM:   Kim Alexander, CVF President
DATE:   November 5, 2002
RE:   CVF-NEWS Election Day round-up

Hi Folks,

Happy election day!

In this CVF-NEWS round-up:

* CVF's Directory of California Voting Systems updated
* Keeping an eye on touchscreen voting
* New fundraising figures online for CA Propositions
* Links to live online election returns available from
* California races to watch
* CA Online Voter Guide offers a wealth of information
* Thoughts on turnout predictions

CVF's Directory of California Voting Systems updated

CVF recently updated our Directory of California Voting Systems to include new information about the use of touchscreen voting in early voting programs. The directory offers a county-by-county summary of the voting systems used in polling places, to cast absentee ballots or for early voting programs.

Three of California's 58 counties are using touchscreen voting county-wide in polling places today -- these include Alameda, Plumas and Riverside counties. Eight other California counties tested touchscreen voting on a limited basis in early voting programs; these included Los Angeles, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Trinity and Tulare. Only one county, Sacramento, tested a touchscreen voting system that produces a voter-verified paper trail. For more details visit CVF's Directory of
California Voting Systems online at

Keeping an eye on touchscreen voting

In California, voters in three counties will cast ballots on paperless touchscreen voting systems. Other states utilizing touchscreen systems today include Florida, Maryland and Georgia, which is the one state in the nation to go entirely touchscreen for this election. I'm keeping an eye out for any stories about touchscreen voting problems or experiences from today's election -- if you see any, or have a personal voting experience to share please send it to me at If you're looking for news about election procedures and equipment, a great source is

New fundraising figures online for CA Propositions

CVF recently added new figures to our lists of the Top Ten Donors on California propositions. The lists, available online at show the top ten donors for and against each of the seven statewide propositions through October 19; the lists now also include any major contributions of $50,000 received by campaigns since October 19.

Links to live online election returns available from

CVF is putting together an Election Returns page which will feature links to state and local election returns online where available. Check our web site, later today and this evening for quick links to live online election returns.

California races to watch

Eight statewide offices are on the California ballot this election, and several of these are "open seat" races where no incumbent is running. Statewide open seat races to watch include Secretary of State, Controller, Insurance Commissioner and Superintendent of Public Instruction. Of the seven propositions on the statewide ballot, two that have attracted a good deal of interest are Prop. 49, sponsored by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger to fund before and after school programs, and Prop. 52, which would allow Californians to register to vote on election day.

The legislative and congressional contests are not quite as exciting. When the California Legislature redrew political district lines last year, they succeeded in creating many new districts that are "safe" for incumbents; consequently, few of California's legislative and congressional races this fall are very competitive. However, political insiders in California are keeping an eye on a few races. Here's a rundown courtesy of the California Journal:

Congressional district 18
State Senate district 12
Assembly districts 10, 15, 17, 26, 30, 78 and 80.

CA Online Voter Guide offers a wealth of information

The California Online Voter Guide features a wealth of nonpartisan information and links to valuable resources for every statewide race and measure in California, as well as legislative and congressional races. This year we added a new Directory of Local Measures, and new maps of all of California's political districts and counties were recently added to the guide as well. Traffic to our web site has been high over the past few days, as people log online to find election information. CVF's California Online Voter Guide is a free, noncommercial service to California voters and is online at

Thoughts on turnout predictions

The news has been filled with low voter turnout predictions for the past few days. California Secretary of State Bill Jones is predicting a 58 percent turnout of California's 15.3 million registered voters. The Field Poll is predicting a slightly lower turnout. I tend to believe such predictions can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. People who haven't yet decided whether to take the time to vote may hear low turnout predictions and think, "If so few other people are voting, why should I bother?" I prefer to look at the upside -- even with a 55-58 percent turnout of registered California voters, we're still talking about eight to nine million people participating in California's election. In my view that counts as a major exercise in democracy.

Wishing you all a good election day, and many happy returns,

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

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This page was first published on November 5, 2002 | Last updated on November 5, 2002
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