CVF in the News

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


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


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


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


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.”


By Alexis Madrigal, KQED, September 15, 2021


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.


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


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


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


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, 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).