News

The Debate About Debates: Should Candidates Be Compelled to Participate?

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Currently, the terms of gubernatorial debates and whether or not they happen are largely dictated by the front-runner. Conventional wisdom says debates are more likely to help the challenger or the candidate who is behind in the polls.

It's true there were plenty of debates before the June primary, including a televised debate in San Jose with the six top-polling candidates for governor. But that's not the same as a one-on-one matchup, where it's harder to skate under the radar.

"The most important thing about debates is that it gets people on the record making commitments before they’re elected," said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation. "It isn’t so much that every registered voter will watch the debate, but rather you have a public record of what they say they'll do if they win."

While debates might not increase voter turnout, at least they would help publicize the fact that an election is happening and who's running, Alexander said. (full story)

How you can help Sacramento County find a new Registrar of Voters

Do you or someone you know have what it takes to lead a county's election program? Sacramento County is seeking to hire a new Registrar of Voters. The county has been advertising this position for several months and produced a detailed promotional brochure to help potential candidates become familiar with the position, requirements, salary and benefits.

Visit http://www.personnel.saccounty.net/Documents/RegistrarOfVoters-RecruitmentBrochure.pdf for more details.

Five reasons why Governor Brown should sign AB 216

Sacramento -- The California Voter Foundation urged Governor Jerry Brown to sign Assembly Bill 216 to provide postage-paid vote-by-mail ballot return envelopes to all California voters. On July 18, Governor Brown signed AB 216 into law. Below is an excerpt of the support letter CVF sent to Governor Brown, providing five reasons why the bill should be signed. 

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Here are five reasons why California should enact AB 216:

1) Removes a major voting obstacle.

After trial run, changes expected for California's vote-by-mail system

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Some California election officials announced Wednesday changes to correct the initial problems with the experimental vote-by-mail system used during the June primary.

Statewide, more than 7 million Californians -- 37.5 percent of California's registered voters -- voted in the June primary. Five counties -- Sacramento, Nevada, Napa, Madera and San Mateo -- used the new vote-by-mail system designed to improve participation. Of those only one, Nevada County, experienced a turnout above 50 percent during the primary.

Sacramento Is Ditching Polling Places For ‘Voter Centers.’ Will People Be Confused?

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Sacramento County is switching to a “voter center” model for today’s election, but some people are concerned the change may confuse voters.

In the past, voters had to go to their specific precinct to vote in an election. Now, the county has adopted a new way, where people can go to any voting center to cast their ballot.

This model was tested in San Mateo County three years ago. Jim Irizarry, that county’s assistant chief elections officer, says the system was a tremendous success.

'The pomp and circumstance of voting is missing.' Some are sad without Sacramento polling places

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A line of voters stood Tuesday morning in front of the McKinley Library in East Sacramento waiting for it to open.

The library, a longtime polling place, has been relegated to a dropbox location as part of a new system approved by state legislators in 2016.

Unlike polling places or the new vote centers, dropbox locations are only open during regular office or business hours. Since McKinley Library doesn't open until noon on Tuesdays, that also meant voters couldn't drop off ballots until that hour.

In seconds, we faked our way into a political campaign, got unsecured voter data

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On Tuesday, polls will be open to voters in eight states, including California, which holds gubernatorial primaries among many other national, state, and local elections.

Under California law (Section 2194 of the Election Code), voter data (name, address, phone, age, party affiliation) is supposed to be "confidential and shall not appear on any computer terminal... or other medium routinely available to the public."

Sacramento County voters, don't plan on going to your usual polling place. Find a vote center

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Kim Alexander is worried. The president of the California Voter Foundation is afraid that on Tuesday Sacramento County voters will stroll to the polling places they have always used, find them shuttered and won't have any idea where to vote.

"I am nervous," she said Monday. "I'm hoping for the best and preparing for confusion."

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