CVF in the News

By Alexis Madrigal, KQED, September 15, 2021

Excerpt:

The petition to recall Governor Gavin Newsom began in February of last year. Now, more than a year and a half later, California voters decided against the effort. On the day after the final ballots were cast, we analyze the election results and discuss what they tell us about the future of Gavin Newsom, the state’s Republican party, California’s pandemic response and more.

Guests:

Mark DiCamillo, director, Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies (IGS) Poll

David Chiu, Assemblymember District 17, California State Assembly

Mike Madrid, co-founder, The Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans seeking to prevent the re-election of former President Donald Trump. He is also a political consultant and partner with GrassrootsLab.

Kim Alexander, president and founder, California Voter Foundation

By Angelo Fichera, AP News, September 15, 2021

Excerpts:

CLAIM: Officials counted “9 million mail in ballots” in an hour in the California gubernatorial recall election, whereas it took some states weeks to tabulate results in the 2020 presidential election.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Missing context. California’s recall election results were tabulated quickly in part because election officials were able to process mail-in ballots prior to Election Day. While The Associated Press and others have called the election, official counting continues.

THE FACTS: The AP declared Tuesday night that Gov. Gavin Newsom had defeated a GOP-led recall effort, based on the initial results of votes cast. In a tweet shared on Instagram, a conservative writer questioned the state’s quick tabulation of millions of votes, suggesting something was suspicious.

By AS English, September 15, 2021

Excerpt:

California voting system strongest in the nation

Before Tuesday's election the top candidate to replace Governor Newsom if the recall had succeeded declined to say whether he would accept the results. Larry Elder was following former President Trump's playbook in his campaign putting out false claims of voter fraud before ballots were even cast.

However in his concession speech he made no mention of any "shenanigans". 

According to Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, “California’s voting system standards and testing requirements are the strongest in the nation.” She notes that the state requires voter-verified paper ballots and post-election audits. (Full Story)

By Elise Viebeck and Tom Hamburger, Washington Post, September 14, 2021

Excerpt:

Former president Donald Trump’s false voter fraud claims found new life in California’s biggest election this year.

The top Republican seeking to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in Tuesday’s recall declined before the election to say whether he could accept the results. A website affiliated with his campaign invites visitors to “sign a petition to stop the fraud of the California recall election.” And a previous version of the site — published before the election took place — blamed voter fraud for Newsom being “reinstated” as governor.

But more transparency wouldn’t hurt. Here's why

By Kim Alexander and Micheal Alvarez, Sacramento Bee Opinion September 14, 2021

(online at https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/article254235563.html, photo credit Lezlie Sterling, Sacramento Bee)

Sacramento Bee image of vote centerThere is a growing chorus claiming that California’s recall election is not secure.

Some claims come from people providing no evidence to back them up and no substantiation of fraud. Some come from people who question aspects of California’s election administration practices that they don’t understand (like the use of accessibility holes by some counties in ballot return envelopes to help guide low-vision voters to the signature box).

By Chris Nichols, Capital Public Radio, September 13, 2021

Excerpt:

The eyes of the nation will be on California this week as voters decide whether to retain or remove Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in Tuesday’s recall election.

But once the final ballots are mailed, dropped off or cast in-person, many will ask: ‘How soon will the results come in?’ And ‘when will we know the outcome?’

Election experts say it’s impossible to predict exactly when the race will be decided. If it’s a landslide, we might know within hours of polls closing. But a close contest could mean weeks of hand-wringing as late arriving mail ballots are counted before a winner is declared. 

“If it’s very close,” said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, “then you’re going to have to wait possibly all the way until the end of the certification period which is 30 days after election day.”

By Lara Korte, Sacramento Bee, September 11, 2021

Excerpt:

With less than a week to go until the California recall election, some Republicans are falsely claiming that votes are rigged in favor of Democrats and suggesting, without evidence, that Gov. Gavin Newsom can only win with fraudulent votes.

The claims are unsubstantiated, and echo similar false messages promoted by Republicans last year following the election of President Joe Biden.

Larry Elder, the top-polling Republican candidate seeking to replace Newsom, is already preparing to challenge the recall results if Newsom survives.

Elder told reporters in Los Angeles on Wednesday that he believes “there might very well be shenanigans” in the recall election, but that he expects to win anyway because “so many Californians are angry about what’s going on,” according to CNN.

By Jeremy B. White, Politico, September 9, 2021

Excerpt:

Donald Trump opened his presidency by falsely claiming massive voter fraud in California. Now he’s returned to the subject, raising the prospect that the outcome of next week’s recall election could follow the same divisive path as last year’s presidential election.

Trump, who told Newsmax this week that the election to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is “probably rigged,” is the most prominent in a string of conservatives who have cast evidence-free aspersions on the upcoming vote.

With Republican figures simultaneously telling voters that Newsom’s defeat is inevitable and cautioning that Democrats will try to manipulate the outcome — and polls showing Newsom is likely to survive — it’s a combustible combination. It also might be a preview of what’s in store for the 2022 midterm elections in the wake of Trump’s barrage of false claims about the integrity of election results.

By Chris Nichols, Capital Public Radio, September 2, 2021

Excerpt:

GOP recall candidate Larry Elder recently suggested — without evidence — that there are concerns about the security of a California voting program, one that helps people with disabilities cast their ballot. 

On Aug. 19, the conservative talk show host tweeted a Washington Examiner article with the headline, “California voters to be able to download ballots at home for recall election, sparking security concerns.”

But election and disability rights experts say the claim Elder promoted is baseless. What’s more, the article he tweeted doesn’t cite anyone who raised concerns about the specific program. 

Given the intense focus on election security, we set out on a fact check. 

How Does The Program For Voters With Disabilities Work? 

By Sameea Kamal, Calmatters, August 31, 2021

Excerpts:

You’ve seen the posts on Twitter and Facebook, or maybe someone forwarded a WhatsApp message about suspicious activity with California’s recall ballots.

Unfounded rumors about election security have always been around, but they’ve been rampant since the 2020 election and former President Trump’s “Stop the Steal” movement. Despite those allegations, the 2020 elections were found to be “the most secure in American history,” according to a statement from a coalition of government and election industry officials. 

Claims of fraud in California’s recall election have been amplified on social media by some recall supporters, as well by some of the candidates themselves, including Larry Elder, the Republican talk show host leading most polls. 

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