CVF in the News

The concept behind mandatory voting isn't new. Australia and Belgium are often brought up in conversation as examples.

By Eric Escalante, ABC 10, February 5, 2020

Excerpt:

Every registered voter in California might be required to vote in an election if a North Bay assemblyman’s bill becomes law.

Asm. Marc Levine (D - Marin County) introduced Assembly Bill 2070 to the legislature on Tuesday, so it still has a long way to go. If the bill manages to go the distance, it would require every registered voter in the state to cast a ballot by mail or at a vote center beginning in 2022.

The Secretary of State would also be able to enforce the bill with "civil remedies" to maximize voter turnout.

"Democracy is not a spectator sport — it requires the active participation of all of its citizens," Levine said."California is a national leader on expanding voting rights to its citizens. Those rights come with a responsibility by registered voters to cast their ballot and make sure that their voice is heard by their government. 

"This is not a time to be complacent at the ballot box. My AB 2070 will ensure that the voices of all California voters are heard loud and clear."

Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, said people will have strong feelings about the assemblymember's proposal.

"If nothing else, it will generate lively discussion about whether mandatory voting in California is a good idea or not," Alexander said. 

By Don Thompson, Associated Press, February 3, 2020

Excerpt:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Millions of Californians have little or no choice when it comes to choosing a state legislator.

In 24 of the 100 districts on the ballot, only candidates from one party are running. And in 15 of those districts, the incumbent lawmaker is unopposed and all but assured of re-election.

In most of these districts the only party on the ballot is Democratic as the struggling Republican Party failed to even field a candidate. That leaves nearly 14½ million of California’s roughly 40 million people with no choice between major political parties in picking their state representative.

That’s good for the dominant political party and entrenched politicians, but bad for voters, said Mindy Romero, founder and director of the University of Southern California’s California Civic Engagement Project.

By Scott Shafer, National Public Radio's "Morning Edition", December 19, 2019

Transcript excerpt:

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: 

Tonight California receives a sign of its enlarged role in the presidential nominating process. The most populous state used to hold its primary at the end of the voting season, by which time party nominees were often decided. In 2020, California votes earlier. And today Los Angeles, Calif., will host a Democratic presidential debate. Seven candidates will be onstage.

Here's Scott Shafer from our member station KQED.

SCOTT SHAFER, BYLINE: Two years ago, frustrated by always being in the shadow of Iowa and New Hampshire, California State Senator Ricardo Lara introduced a bill to move up the state's presidential primary from June to March.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RICARDO LARA: The Prime Time Primary bill would make us one of the first states to hold a presidential primary and ensure our state's voters are heard on the national stage.

SHAFER: The bill passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law. For decades, California has gone back and forth between holding its presidential primary in March and June with mixed results.

KIM ALEXANDER: We are 1 in 8 voters in the country, so we do want California to have a say.

SHAFER: Kim Alexander is president of the California Voter Foundation, a strong supporter of changing the primary date. She says it's now or never to have an impact, given that California isn't one of the few swing states in November.

ALEXANDER: If we want Californians to have a voice in deciding who the president is, we really have to focus on the primary.

By Scott Shafer, KQED Radio, December 19, 2019

Excerpt:

Seven Democratic presidential hopefuls will square off tonight in Los Angeles, marking the candidates' first formal debate in California, and likely the best opportunity to hear them discuss issues pertinent to voters in the nation's most populous state.

And in this presidential primary, the stakes here are actually high.

Two years ago, frustrated by always being in the shadow of Iowa and New Hampshire, California moved up the state’s presidential primary from June to March, with the goal of strengthening the influence of the state's 20 million registered voters.

"We are one in eight voters in the country," says Kim Alexander, founder and president of the California Voter Foundation. "So we do want California to have a say."

Millions of postcards target independent voters across state

By Mike Luery, KCRA TV News, December 17, 2019

Kim Alexander on KCRA Dec 17 2019Excerpt:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —

A record number of Californians are now registered to vote -- more than 20.3 million. 

Of those voters, about 5 million are now getting postcards in the mail with an important message about the presidential primary that’s scheduled for March.

Those voters will either have to request a different ballot or re-register to vote.

Here's what you need to know:

1) It’s the holidays! Why should I pay attention to a postcard about voting? 

By Mike Luery, KCRA TV News, November 3, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —

The race to the White House is getting more intense, with the presidential election now officially one year away.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Trump 50 to 41 percent among registered voters. Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts leads the president by 8 points -- 50 to 42 percent.

The poll was conducted Oct. 27 to Oct. 30, with 900 adults reached, half of them by cellphone. It presents a snapshot of voter sentiment now, but a lot can change over the next 12 months.

For President Trump, the impeachment controversy is heating up. Forty-nine percent of those polled stated they believe the president should be impeached and removed from office, while 46 percent say no.

A Capitol Weekly Podcast

By Tim Foster and John Howard, Capitol Weekly, October 9, 2019

California Voter Foundation President Kim Alexander is celebrating 25 years since the organization was ‘relaunched’ in 1994 – she sat down with John Howard and Tim Foster of the CW podcast to talk about the history of CVF and what her top concerns are a quarter century after the kickoff. (listen here

 

 

'It’s trying to vote-shame people into voting, and that’s just not the way to go'

By Mike Leury, KCRA-News, May 29, 2019

Excerpt:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —

There is outrage this week from California voters and voter advocates after a controversial mailer showed up just days before a special election.

The mailers come from a group called the Northern California State Voter Project, but there’s no website and no phone number for the promoters, whose only known address is a post office box. 

The mailer threatens to reveal people's voting history to friends, family and neighbors.

“I was really upset," said Susan Strand, a voter in El Dorado County. “I felt violated."

Strand showed KCRA 3 the letter she received from Northern California State Voter Project.

New voting systems in place for many California counties

By Mike Leury, KCRA-TV News, April 25, 2019

Excerpt:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA)

California’s presidential primary is just 11 months away and work is already in progress to make sure the state is ready to count every vote.

The California election map is changing thanks to the Voter’s Choice Act, and there are now 11 counties that have replaced neighborhood polling places with voting centers. Voters in Los Angeles County will not automatically be sent a vote by mail ballot, but they will have to request one.

In three rural counties – Sierra, Plumas and Alpine – residents can only vote by mail. 

30 people who embody Sacramento News & Review's mission

By Foon Rhee, Sacramento News and Review, April 11, 2019

Excerpt:

Skeptics might call them do-gooders. But in today’s world—when we could surely use as much good as possible—what’s wrong with that?

To highlight the 30th anniversary of SN&R, we want to recognize 30 people who embody our mission: To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live.

On purpose, the vast majority on this list are not high-profile politicians, the rich and powerful or other bold names. Many come from the nonprofit world, not well-known to the general public but working every day to help the less fortunate and to make public policy smarter and more humane. Some have been in the trenches for many years, while others are just emerging as leaders.

Like any list like this, it’s rather subjective. There are many others in the Sacramento region who are doing yeoman’s work and also deserving of praise.

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Kim Alexander

President of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation, she’s a strong advocate for more informed voters having a bigger say, and for voters across the state having equal access to participate. Her group is particularly focused on making sure that technology helps—not harms—our democracy.

(full story)

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