CVF in the News

By Diana Lambert and Jordan Cutler-Tietjen, Sacramento Bee, June 5, 2018

Excerpt:

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.

"People are in the habit of voting the way they voted last time," said Kim Alexander, president and founder of the California Voter Foundation.

Data analytics firm says this is normal: "It's the way that campaigns are run."

By Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, June 5, 2018

Excerpt:

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."

However, there's a big exception to that law: this data can be made available to political campaigns, including companies that provide digital analysis services to campaigns. In other words, candidates and their contractors can get voter data, but there's little definition in the law about how those parties are required to be custodians of that data and how that data ought to be secured.

By Ben Adler, National Public Radio, Weekend Edition Sunday, June 3, 2018

Excerpt:

California's nontraditional nonpartisan primary system could negatively affect Democrats running for the House and Republicans running in the state's races for governor and senator.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST: 

Tuesday's primary election in California has political watchers riveted not just because of what's on the ballot but also because of the state's unusual primary system - the jungle primary. As Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the state is split on whether or not it's working.

BEN ADLER, BYLINE: It's called the jungle primary for a reason. Republicans are at risk of being shut out of California's races for governor and U.S. Senate on Tuesday, and Democrats could face the same fate in several congressional races seen as crucial to retaking the House all because voters approved Proposition 14 back in 2010.

By John Woolfolk, San Jose Mercury News, May 21, 2018

Excerpt:

With Monday’s deadline for registering to vote approaching, Nancy Kops was getting a little anxious. All her friends already had received their mail-in ballots. But although she’s voted in every election since moving to San Jose 10 years ago, her ballot still hadn’t come.

The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters office said Friday that an employee error resulted in Kops being unregistered to vote.

“This error was caused by a member of our team incorrectly resolving a duplication in registration records,” registrar spokesman Eric Kurhi said.

Kurhi added that “we are not aware of any other voters whose records were canceled in error,” and that the registrar’s office is happy to assist voters to confirm that they are registered to vote.

May 21 is the deadline for registering to vote in the June 5 primary election.

By Darrell Smith, Sacramento Bee, May 20, 2018

Excerpt:

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert is taking to texts to get her message out in her bid for re-election in June.

Schubert for two months has sought the support of potential voters via messages that pop up on cellphones. Text messaging, said Schubert campaign manager David Gilliard, is just “another tool in the tool box” of a political campaign. Real Justice, which supports Schubert's challenger Noah Phillips, also targets potential voters via texts, said Vince Duffy, Phillips' campaign manager. 

Campaign texts, though not new, are part of a growing base of media strategies raising concerns among voting rights and privacy advocates. Campaigns, they say, have access to an increasing amount of voters' personal information from which to build detailed profiles of potential voters.

By Mike Leury, KCRA TV Sacramento, May 17, 2018

Excerpt:

Neighborhood polling places are history in five California counties: Sacramento, Nevada, Napa, San Mateo and Madera.

They are being replaced by one-stop vote centers, drop boxes and voting by mail. The changes are part of the Voters Choice Act, designed to give Californians more choices on how they can vote. 

At the Sacramento County Elections office, hundreds of ballots are arriving each day. 

“We’ve received nearly 8,000 vote-by-mail ballots voted and back in house,” said Alice Jarboe, interim Registrar of Voters for Sacramento County. “And that’s a record for this time period prior to any election that I’ve been involved with in the past 20 years."

It appears there’s a surge in voter turnout at a time when Sacramento County is going through some big changes. 

By John Myers, Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2018

Excerpt:

The card millions of Californians use to register to vote is receiving its first makeover in more than a decade, inspired in part by confusion over how to become an "independent" unaffiliated voter — a problem highlighted by a Los Angeles Times investigation in 2016.

"It's an issue that's been lingering for years," said Secretary of State Alex Padilla. "But that was the first time it was really in the spotlight."

The Times found a substantial number of Californians who registered with the American Independent Party wrongly believed they weren't part of any political party — an error that later kept some from casting ballots in the state's 2016 presidential primary.

"A combination of issues prompted us to see if there was a better way," Padilla said.

California's paper ballots protect voters from hacking

By Mike Luery, KCRA TV Sacramento, March 1, 2018

Excerpt:

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."

By Scott Shafer, KQED News, for the California Report, January 29, 2018

Excerpt:

The spate of sexual harassment allegations has led two state lawmakers to resign. Local election officials are feeling the burden of special elections to fill those vacancies. (audio)

By Kammi Foote, Kim Alexander and Barbara Simons, Sacramento Bee, October 2, 2017

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. 

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