CalMatters election commentary, AB 860 Letter of Concern

June 3, 2020

Hi Folks,

It's been an intense time throughout our state and in Sacramento especially. In the midst of everything that's happening, California's elections community continues working to carefully plan for November's Presidential Election. The challenges are enormous. 

Today's CalMatters features a commentary I co-authored with Kammi Foote, Inyo County's Registrar of Voters urging California's leaders to act quickly to help counties and voters plan for the Fall

We anticipate California's plan includes mailing every registered voter a ballot, which Governor Gavin Newsom already mandated through executive order last month. Yesterday California's Senate elections committee advanced AB 860, by Assembly Member Marc Berman which codifies the governor's order and makes additional changes alongside its companion bill, SB 423

CVF and Verified Voting submitted a Letter of Concern yesterday urging lawmakers to take note of the technical components of the emerging plans that need attention, such as VoteCal (the state's voter registration database), the Secretary of State's web site lookup tools, expanded use of Remote Accessible Vote-by-Mail and the need for every county to offer at least one external ballot drop-off location on November 3rd. 

We are expecting another executive order soon, that will spell out what kinds of in-person voting options Californians will have in addition to receiving their ballot in the mail. 

To learn more about the history and mechanics of casting vote-by-mail ballots in California, check out this great PolitiFact California overview by Capitol Public Radio's Chris Nichols.

-- Kim Alexander, President & Founder, California Voter Foundation