CVF in the News

By Lewis Griswold, CAL Matters, November 24, 2020

Excerpts:

Californians faced the naysayers and voted by mail in record numbers this election, potentially avoiding a pandemic super spreader event and showing the nation it could be done.

CalMatters interviewed voting officials in most of the state’s 58 counties and their verdict is in: The experiment with voting by mail saw few glitches, little drama and, instead, might well provide a blueprint for future elections across the country.

Indeed, state officials are already talking about plans to make voting by mail permanent for the biggest state in the union and its 22 million registered voters.

Besides the unprecedented challenge of conducting the election in a pandemic, voting officials also had to deal with a deep, partisan divide that helped to fuel widespread misinformation about election security.

By Guy Marzorati, KQED, November 13, 2020

Excerpts:

Election officials across California are breathing a sigh of relief: An election that combined unprecedented changes and unmatched scrutiny amid a global pandemic resulted in historic levels of participation and few widespread issues.

Some features of this year's vote will hopefully go down as historical aberrations, like poll workers in protective gear and masked voters physically distanced in voting locations stocked with hand sanitizer.

Other alterations brought on by the coronavirus — such as the expansion of voting by mail and the shift away from assigned polling places — could spur long lasting changes to the way in which Californians cast their ballots.

By John Wilkens, The San Diego Union-Tribune, November 7, 2020

Excerpts:

Of all the societal changes brought by the novel coronavirus, the one that lasts the longest might be the one we just went through: Everyone voting by mail.

Already the method preferred by more three-fourths of San Diego County’s voters, its apparent success in the just-concluded election has some officials talking openly about making it permanent.

“Whether it’s enacted statewide by the legislature, or whether we adopt it on a county level with some tweaks, I think it’s here to stay,” said Nathan Fletcher, a county supervisor. “We should be doing everything we can to make it possible for valid votes to be counted.”

By Sonseeahray Tonsall, Fox 40, November 6, 2020

Excerpts:

With election results in so some states still too close to call, voters may need no greater lesson to teach them that every single vote really does matter.
 
That’s the message Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation has been trying to convince people of for years, while working on our election systems to make clear votes possible.

“I’m really satisfied with the careful work that elections officials are conducting right now in counting the ballots,” Alexander told FOX40. “A number of the counties are allowing you to watch this process yourself on live webcams, so I think that gives a good degree of transparency.”
 
With mail-in ballots becoming a tide-turner in many battleground states, Alexander warned that votes can get thrown out because people forget to sign their ballots or their signature doesn’t match their registration. 

By KNX 1070, KNX1070AM NEWSRADIO, November 6, 2020

Excerpts:

State leaders are considering making vote-by-mail permanent across California.

It was done for this election statewide because of the coronavirus pandemic.

California Voter Foundation president Kim Alexander tells KNX 1070 News vote-by-mail increases voter turnout but there are some issues that need to be addressed.

Alexander also says vote-by-mail is expensive for counties so the state will need to help them with funding.

"Younger voters are having a harder time with successfully casting vote-by-mail ballots. They have several factors working against them. They are new to voting. They are not accustomed to making signatures and they are not familiar with using the U.S. Mail," Alexander says.

By Bert Johnson, Capital Public Radio, November 6, 2020

Excerpts:

In an election where margins are razor thin, Nevada could play a pivotal role in deciding who will be president of the United States. But observers warn that many mail-in ballots could be left out of the final count. 

According to Heather Carmen, Assistant Registrar of Voters for Washoe County, ballots are most often challenged by officials when the voter’s signature doesn’t match the one on file — or if the ballot was never signed to begin with.

Carmen says if that happens, voters have until Nov. 12 to fix the problem.

“If there is a signature issue, we’ve challenged it for either missing a signature or miscompares,” she explained, “We will send them a letter with three different options on how to, what we call ‘cure’ it.”

By Ryan Carter, Los Angeles Daily News, November 5, 2020

Excerpts:

Los Angeles County voters have done their job. They voted.

But this election won’t really be over until Nov. 30. That’s when the registrar-recorder’s office will deem it “certified.”

Until then, at a giant processing hall at the Fairplex in Pomona, at a tally center in Downey and at election headquarters in Norwalk, a bustling fusion of county staff and temporary workers will continue checking, processing and tabulating nearly 800,000 remaining ballots. And candidates in tight races will have to settle for intermittent updates.

Here’s what you can expect from the L.A. County Registrar of Voters over the next few days in the ongoing effort to finish counting the votes from the general election.

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By Lewis Griswold and Michael Lozano, Capital Public Radio, November 5, 2020

Excerpts:

California prepared for the worst on Election Day and most of its worries came to naught.

Businesses that boarded up windows because they feared looting and rioting instead mostly saw calm. Poll workers were trained in how to handle voters who showed up without masks, but were mostly met with people who wore their masks and socially distanced.

Californians who hand delivered ballots early for fear of late mail or lost ballots appeared to have overreacted: election officials have not seen concerning problems with missing ballots. Lines were reasonable at polling places. No glaring technology glitches shut down state voting.

By Chris Nichols, Politifact, November 4, 2020

Excerpts:

A provocative but unfounded post from conservative commentator Tomi Lahren has gone viral on Facebook suggesting key states in the presidential race are starting to "flip blue" due to a fraudulent mail-in voting system such as the one used in California. 

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s effort to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about PolitiFact California’s partnership with Facebook.) It received more than 700,000 views and 25,000 likes on the platform by early Wednesday afternoon.

Facebook added a warning label at the bottom of the post citing the trustworthiness of voting by mail.

With the nation’s focus on the still-undetermined presidential race, we set out to fact check Lahren’s claim.

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Bloomberg, November 4, 2020

Excerpts:

Big-money campaigns led to a victory for rideshare companies in California and a defeat for car companies in Massachusetts, where some of the most high-spending ballot initiative efforts of the 2020 general election prevailed. 

About $200 million was spent California to urge voters to permanently classify app-based rideshare and delivery drivers as independent contractors. That campaign was backed by Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc., DoorDash Inc., and other gig economy platforms.

Across the country, national car parts chains AutoZone Inc. and Advance Auto Parts Inc. succeeded in passing a Massachusetts measure that allows any car repair shop—rather than just dealerships—access to an automobile’s diagnostic platform. That includes access to data typically transmitted wirelessly from cars to the dealership (Question 1).

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