Board and Staff

CVF Staff

 Kim Alexander is president of the California Voter Foundation (CVF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization she re-founded in 1994 and dedicated to improving the voting process to better serve voters, online at Major achievements include working to implement online access to California campaign finance data, prohibiting paperless electronic voting, and requiring voter-verified paper audit trails and post-election audits to give voters confidence in the accuracy of election results – all reforms that started in California and CVF also helped spread nationwide through networking, research and public relations. Under her leadership, CVF has also successfully advanced numerous improvements to California’s vote-by-mail process, helping to reduce ballot rejection. In response to growing threats and harassment of election officials, Kim and CVF are leading a nationwide, nonpartisan network of leaders across multiple sectors working to support and protect election officials and election administration. Current priorities include improving election workers’ safety and security, curtailing election mis- and disinformation and increasing funding and support for election administration. (Full staff bio and contact information)

Samantha Abelove is the California Voter Foundation’s Program Manager and a resident of Orange County who is passionate about democracy, system change and societal progress. Samantha brings a background in voter participation barriers, social equity and nonprofit leadership to her CVF role. She received a Master of Public Administration, with a specialization in Nonprofit Management from USC Sol Price School of Public Policy in 2020. Her capstone research examined the barriers and constraints housing-insecure citizens experience during the voting process. From her research, she found that these barriers and constraints are not unique to homeless citizens and significantly impact various marginalized groups. Prior to working for CVF, Samantha held several positions at UCLA. She received her BA in Politics and International Relations, with a minor in Religious Studies from Scripps College. During her time at Scripps, she worked in two local elected officials’ offices and interned for a human rights organization in Central America.


CVF Board of Directors 

Cathy Darling Allen has served as the Shasta County Clerk and Registrar of Voters since 2004. She was re-elected, to her fourth term of office, in 2018. She is an active and leading member of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) and has served in the past on the Elections Legislative Committee and the Board of Directors.  She was President of the Association from 2012 to 2014.  She received certification from CACEO as a California Professional Election Administrator in 2005 and as a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) from the Elections Center in 2016. She recently helped to develop and lead a statewide project to make uniform estimates of the costs of administering elections in all 58 California counties. Cathy is also an originating member of the Future of California Elections (FOCE) collaborative and is very proud to serve as Chair of the California Voter Foundation Board of Directors.

Susan Roth imageSusan King Roth is Professor Emerita at Virginia Commonwealth University and served as Senior Associate Dean before retiring in 2016. Previously, at The Ohio State University, her research on the usability of voting systems, conducted in cooperation with state and county election officials, showed that voting technology and ballot design issues had the potential to disenfranchise voters and impact election results. After the 2000 presidential election, these findings were widely disseminated in the media and resulted in invitations to testify before the National Commission on Federal Election Reform, to present findings to the Election Administration Advisory Panel of the Federal Election Commission, to serve on the Advisory Board for an NSF-funded project to assess voting technology and ballot design at the Center for American Politics and Citizenship, and to provide expert testimony to the Technical Guidelines Development Committee of the Election Assistance Commission. She continues to support equal access to the voting process as a member of CVF’s Board of Directors. She is a resident of Southern California and serves as Vice-Chair of CVF's Board of Directors.

Jack Lerner PhotoJack Lerner finds solutions to problems at the intersection of law and technology, particularly how technology law and policy affect civil liberties and innovation.  He has written and spoken widely on copyright, privacy and other areas of technology law.  He is a Clinical Professor of Law in the University of California, Irvine School of Law and Director of its Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic, where law students counsel and represent policymakers, artists, innovators, nonprofit organizations, and others on IP and technology issues. He has long been an advocate for secure, accurate voting systems.  He co-authored the digital era’s first-ever legal guide for elections officials, “Legal Issues Facing Election Officials In An Electronic-Voting World,” with Burstein, Dang, and Hancock. He has also been Executive Editor since 2008 of the award-winning Internet Law and Practice in California. In 2016, he was named “California LawyerAttorney of the Year” for his work changing copyright law for documentary filmmakers and authors nationwide.  Jack serves as CVF's board secretary. His full biography can be found at

Steve Levine photoSteve Levine’s professional experience is in risk management, fraud detection and prevention, due diligence, and physical security assessments. He is a Certified International Investigator and a Certified Fraud Examiner. He formerly worked at The Center for Investigative Reporting as a Senior Staff Reporter, has been awarded a national EMMY award, a James Madison First Amendment Award and a National Press Club Award. He is the author of Paper Trails: A Guide to Public Records in California, and a nationally recognized public records consultant.He serves as the Treasurer of the California Voter Foundation, serves on the Organization and Governance Committee of Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley, and as Treasurer of the Berkeley High PTSA. 

Mindy Romero imageMindy Romero is the Founder and Director of the California Civic Engagement Project (CCEP) at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy in Sacramento. Romero holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on political behavior and race/ethnicity, seeking to explain patterns of voting and political underrepresentation, particularly among youth and communities of color in California and the U.S.  She speaks about civic engagement and political rights in numerous venues, including the National Commission on Voting Rights and the California Legislature. Her research is cited in major news outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Politico and the Huffington Post. She is a frequent guest on NPR-affiliated radio stations in California and a regular op-ed contributor to the Sacramento Bee.  Romero works to strengthen political participation and representation. She is an adjunct fellow of the Public Policy Institute of California and President of the Board of California Common Cause. 

Pamela Smith, Senior Advisor to Verified Voting, is the former President of Verified Voting. She provides information and public testimony on Verified Voting issues at federal and state levels throughout the US, including to the US House of Representatives Committee on House Administration. She is also a member of the National Task Force on Election Crises, a diverse cross-partisan group of more than 50 experts whose mission is to prevent and mitigate a range of election crises by calling for critical preventative reforms to our election systems. Pam oversees an extensive information resource on election equipment and the regulations governing its use at the federal level and across the 50 states. She is co-editor of the Principles and Best Practices in Post Election Audits, co-author of “Counting Votes 2012: A State By State Look at Election Preparedness” and the author of an introductory chapter on audits for Confirming Elections: Creating Confidence and Integrity through Election Auditing. She has been a small business and marketing consultant and nonprofit executive for a Hispanic educational organization working on first language literacy and adult learning.

 Kim Alexander

CVF Board Chairman, 1999-2019

GW-Smith imageGeoffrey Wandesforde-Smith is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Davis.  His involvement with CVF stems from his pioneering collaboration with Kim Alexander in the late 1990s in the use of the internet to teach California Politics and Government at UC Davis and his work mentoring legislative and executive branch interns from all ten UC campuses at the University of California Center Sacramento, of which he was a founding faculty member.  He received the Academic Senate’s Distinguished Teaching Award for his innovative work in the use of the internet for research and policy analysis.  He was educated in England and received his doctorate from the University of Washington. He has held visiting appointments at the Science Center Berlin and the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii.  He is currently Senior Editor of the Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the Burgon Society, and takes regular exercise on a bike. On the web at

CVF Board Chairman, 1997-1999

David Jefferson is a Visiting Computer Scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. From 1980 to 1994 he was a professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California and UCLA.  In 1994, at the Digital Equipment Corporation, he oversaw development of the California Election Server, the first web server anywhere to provide nonpartisan online voter information about candidates and issues. In collaboration with CVF, he created the first online campaign finance database for the 1995 San Francisco municipal elections. He is a recognized expert on and determined critic of the security of internet voting, and in 1999 wrote the first major study of the subject.  He has been a technical advisor to five California Secretaries of State. His expertise is sought by panels and task forces created to provide policy advice on voting security and voting systems technology, including NSF, the National Commission on Federal Election Reform, the Department of Defense and the Federal Election Commission. His media appearances include CBS 60 Minutes and the PBS News Hour. David served on CVF's Board of Directors from 1996-2021 and as Board Chair from 1997-1999. 



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To reach CVF staff, contact Kim Alexander