CVF in the News

By Adam Beam, AP, March 28, 2022

Excerpts:

Elections in the U.S. have become so polarizing that California is considering treating poll workers with the same caution as domestic violence victims by letting them keep their addresses hidden from public records.

The California Legislature on Monday advanced a bill that would add some election workers to the state’s “Safe at Home” program that’s lets some people to keep their physical addresses secret. The program was originally designed to protect domestic violence victims, but has since been expanded to include people who work at abortion clinics and their patients.

By M. Mindy Moretti, Electionline, March 10, 2022

Excerpts:

 Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley is a bit of a Renaissance man.

Before joining the county as chief deputy registrar, Kelley worked in a variety of fields including retail, law enforcement and he’d served as an adjunct professor with Riverside Community College’s Business Administration Department.

Kelley was hired as chief deputy registrar in 2004, got appointed acting registrar the following year and was named to the position permanently in 2006. He the longest serving Orange County election official and one of the most senior—in experience, not age!—election officials California.

By Matt Vasilogambros, Pew Stateline, March 9, 2022

From her second-floor office window in Medford, Oregon, elections administrator Chris Walker vividly remembers reading the unsettling words painted in big white letters on the parking lot below in late November 2020: “Vote don’t work. Next time bullets.”

Her heart sank, she recalls, wondering whether or when the threat would materialize. Former President Donald Trump had won her southern Oregon community, and despite his lie that the election was stolen, she never expected this anger.

While her office is nonpartisan, Walker, the Jackson County clerk, has been a registered Republican for as long as she’s been able to vote. She’s frustrated to see the amount of election misinformation from members of her party. The pressure from constituents has not let up over the past two years. In emails, she is called a crook and a criminal just for doing her job: running elections.

By Linda So, Rueters, February 18, 2022

Lawmakers in Oregon and California are calling for tougher legislation to protect election workers in response to a continuing wave of threats and harassment inspired by former President Donald Trump's false claims that the 2020 vote was rigged against him.

In Oregon, legislators are considering a measure that would make it a felony to harass or threaten election workers while they are performing their official duties, state officials said. The measure would also exempt the personal information of election workers, such as home addresses, from certain public records.

"In the months leading up to and since the 2020 election, election workers across the country have faced verbal abuse, harassment and violent threats on their lives,” Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, a Democrat, told state lawmakers on Tuesday. “As we head into the 2022 election season, we must do all we can to protect election workers against physical harm fueled by misinformation.”

By Sonseeahray Tonsall, Anisca Miles, Fox 40, December 17, 2021

Redistricting is happening all across the country at all levels.

As the shape of representation is changing from coast to coast, researchers at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences are suggesting the number of people Americans send to the U.S. House of Representatives needs to increase. (full story)

 

By Anisca Miles, Sonseeahray Tonsall, Fox 40, October 29, 2021

Excerpt:

The process of American elections has been the gold standard around the world for decades.

America has farmed out its system to help emerging democracies stabilize their trips to the polls.

Last fall the shine on what was the gold standard became tarnished in many eyes worldwide as the results of the presidential election were challenged without evidence of wrongdoing, and those working the elections became targets.

This week, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, formerly the secretary of state, pressed Congress to do more to protect election workers from harassment and threats.

California Voter Foundation Board of Directors Chairwoman Cathy Darling Allen joined Sonseeahray to discuss the harassment election workers face. (Full Story)

By John Myers, Los Angeles Times, October 29, 2021

In a way, it feels like the recall campaign against Gov. Gavin Newsom isn’t over.

Sure, the election results have been certified and Newsom will serve out the remainder of his term while the replacement candidates settle for a spot in the history books.

But the discussion prompted by the recall — and the demands for reform, sparked by a chorus of complaints about how these special elections work — is only getting started.

Two public hearings Thursday in Sacramento made clear there are a lot of options floating around for revamping a tool of California’s direct democracy that’s only been slightly tweaked since its creation in 1911.

By NCLS Staff, NCLS, October 27, 2021

Excerpt:

It’s no surprise that legislators on both sides of the aisle receive hate mail, social media harassment and threats. All elected officials are targets from time to time. It’s not ok, yet it’s hard to stop.

Now, local election officials—the people who administer elections—are targets, too. First, who are these people? Then, what’s up with harassment?

Election officials are the more than 8,000 government employees who run elections (along with more than 100,000 poll workers). Metaphorically, they’re the face of democracy. Practically, they’re responsible for answering voter questions; testing, deploying and storing election equipment; recruiting and training poll workers; finding polling locations; providing accurate public information; protecting against cybersecurity threats; and more.

By Louis Baudoin-Laarman, AFP, September 17, 2021

Excerpts:

Allegations of fraud in California's gubernatorial recall election spread online after Democrat Gavin Newsom survived the vote aimed at unseating him. But claims that the state refused to count in-person votes, that some polling stations told 70 percent of voters they had already cast their ballots, or that the result was determined too rapidly, are false.

Donald Trump and Republican contender Larry Elder set the stage for such claims, warning of foul play before Election Day -- a tactic employed by the now former US president in 2020.

Trump claimed in a statement that "millions and millions" of mail-in ballots would lead to a "giant Election Scam," while Elder said on the campaign trail that he was ready to sue should any "shenanigans" appear, and urged his supporters to report "anything suspicious."

By Sonseeahray Tonsall, Jordan Radach, Fox 40, September 16, 2021

Excerpt:

Leading up to Tuesday’s trip to the polls, there was a lot of fear on both sides of the recall issue about whether or not voters really understood the choice they were being asked to make.

President and founder of the California Voter Foundation, Kim Alexander, spoke with FOX40 weeks before the election and shared concerns that voters may be confused by all the different ballot layouts.

Alexander joined FOX40’s Sonseeharay Tonsall following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s defeat of the recall effort about the biggest lessons learned from this election.

“We had 3,200 voting sites across the state operating in California,” Alexander said. “And really, I can count in single digits the number of incidents that I heard about. And I think that the lesson I took away from that is by mailing everybody a ballot and giving them plenty of time to turn it in by mail or at drop-off locations prior to election day we really preload the voting process to alleviate pressure on voting sites on election day.”

 

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