Kim Alexander from the California Voter Foundation goes over the essential details and changes to the process on the final day of voter registration in California. (listen to segment)
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."
Alexander has worked with the county over the past year to implement a new voting system, which replaces the county's 550 neighborhood polling places with 78 countywide voting centers, dozens of drop-off sites and an emphasis on voting by mail.
Sacramento is the largest of the five counties participating in the pilot program approved by state legislators in 2016 as part of the new state Voters Choice Act. The other counties are San Mateo, Nevada, Napa and Madera counties.
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."
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.
No one is an expert on every subject.
And yet, California’s political process frequently calls upon voters to weigh in on complex issues concerning criminal justice, public health, economics, the environment, just to name a few.
The good news is, voting is not a test, says Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation. If you skip boxes on the ballot, you will not get an “F” in voting.
Alexander is beating the drum on encouraging people to vote.
“People don’t like to do things they feel they’re not good at,” she said. “I worry people feel they’re not good at voting.”
Faced with a long list of propositions with implications they don’t fully grasp, some voters’ impulse is to vote no, which is something critics of California’s direct democracy process advise as a way of voicing disapproval of it.