News

Bombarded with political texts and calls? Here's how they're getting your information

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With about two weeks to go until Election Day, candidates across the country are in the final sprint.

Right now you're probably getting bombarded with texts and calls and finding your social media accounts inundated with personalized political ads.

In the age of social media, personal data is taking center stage in the battle for your vote and political data collection is a booming business.

October surprise

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It’s a dilemma for voters, especially this election:

You want to get your ballot in early to make sure it’s counted.

But what if there’s a major development in a campaign that would have changed your vote?

It’s possible, for instance, that some early voters in South Sacramento—especially those struggling with skyrocketing rents—might regret their choice.

Common voting mistakes to avoid when casting your ballot

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If you are planning to vote by mail this year, the deadline to register to vote is Monday, October 19.

If you register to vote after Monday and vote in person, you’ll be casting a conditional or provisional ballot. Those only get counted after officials have finished verifying your information which could be after Election Day.

More than 2 million voters in California have already returned their ballots.

Bay Area Election Officials Grapple With Avalanche Of Mail-In Ballots Over 2 Weeks Before Election Day

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By the end of this Friday, about 22 million Americans will have already voted, almost two million of those here in California. By comparison, there would normally be fewer than 200,000 votes cast in California by now.

It’s being called “an avalanche” of ballots. KPIX 5 checked in on elections officials in Santa Clara County on Friday.

“That process has started already, we’re preparing them. We have about 20,000 that are actually verified, the signatures,” Mendez went on to say.

The early ballots are stacking up inside with workers busy verifying signatures, and getting ballots ready for processing. Outside, voters who have made up their minds continued to pour in.

“I mean, it’s not gonna change,” one voter said, dropping off her ballot. “So, might as well get it done and over with.”

In ballot box battle, Dems and GOP both claim victory. Why this fight fizzled.

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In a press conference seemingly designed to deescalate a week-long legal standoff, declare victory and profoundly confuse the California press corps, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Secretary of State Alex Padilla said they would not be taking legal action against the California Republican Party for its makeshift ballot box program. 

But the two Democrats insisted that the GOP had changed policy in response to their warnings — a claim the Republicans denied. 

Here's what you need to know about ballot harvesting in California. (Yes, it's legal)

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The term “ballot harvesting” is all over the news after the California Republican Party admitted to placing "unofficial" ballot drop boxes in a number of counties around the state. 

Elections officials say it is illegal, but Republicans argue the drop boxes are a legal form of ballot collection.

What Happens When You Make a Mistake on Your Ballot? I Learned The Hard Way

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Minutes into filling out my absentee ballot last week, I was momentarily distracted by my dog Seamus. A moment later, I realized in horror that I was filling in the wrong bubble -- accidentally voting "no" on a ballot measure that I meant to vote "yes" on.

It was only a few ink marks, but it was noticeable enough. Trying to fix my mistake, I darkly and fully filled in the correct circle and then, as if testifying to an error on a check, put my initials next to the one I wanted.

What to do if your ballot has a signature problem or you make other mistakes

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The unofficial ballot drop box controversy isn’t the only reason U.S. voters are anxious. People also have questions about mail-in voting, such as how to know if they signed in the right place, and whether their signatures will be recognized.

Kim Alexander, president of California Voter Foundation, says to make sure your ballot signature looks like the one on your driver’s license. 

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