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After trial run, changes expected for California's vote-by-mail system

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Some California election officials announced Wednesday changes to correct the initial problems with the experimental vote-by-mail system used during the June primary.

Statewide, more than 7 million Californians -- 37.5 percent of California's registered voters -- voted in the June primary. Five counties -- Sacramento, Nevada, Napa, Madera and San Mateo -- used the new vote-by-mail system designed to improve participation. Of those only one, Nevada County, experienced a turnout above 50 percent during the primary.

'The pomp and circumstance of voting is missing.' Some are sad without Sacramento polling places

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A line of voters stood Tuesday morning in front of the McKinley Library in East Sacramento waiting for it to open.

The library, a longtime polling place, has been relegated to a dropbox location as part of a new system approved by state legislators in 2016.

Unlike polling places or the new vote centers, dropbox locations are only open during regular office or business hours. Since McKinley Library doesn't open until noon on Tuesdays, that also meant voters couldn't drop off ballots until that hour.

In seconds, we faked our way into a political campaign, got unsecured voter data

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On Tuesday, polls will be open to voters in eight states, including California, which holds gubernatorial primaries among many other national, state, and local elections.

Under California law (Section 2194 of the Election Code), voter data (name, address, phone, age, party affiliation) is supposed to be "confidential and shall not appear on any computer terminal... or other medium routinely available to the public."

Sacramento Is Ditching Polling Places For ‘Voter Centers.’ Will People Be Confused?

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Sacramento County is switching to a “voter center” model for today’s election, but some people are concerned the change may confuse voters.

In the past, voters had to go to their specific precinct to vote in an election. Now, the county has adopted a new way, where people can go to any voting center to cast their ballot.

This model was tested in San Mateo County three years ago. Jim Irizarry, that county’s assistant chief elections officer, says the system was a tremendous success.

Sacramento County voters, don't plan on going to your usual polling place. Find a vote center

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Kim Alexander is worried. The president of the California Voter Foundation is afraid that on Tuesday Sacramento County voters will stroll to the polling places they have always used, find them shuttered and won't have any idea where to vote.

"I am nervous," she said Monday. "I'm hoping for the best and preparing for confusion."

Santa Clara County accidentally unregistered voter

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With Monday’s deadline for registering to vote approaching, Nancy Kops was getting a little anxious. All her friends already had received their mail-in ballots. But although she’s voted in every election since moving to San Jose 10 years ago, her ballot still hadn’t come.

The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters office said Friday that an employee error resulted in Kops being unregistered to vote.

Get a text ad from a candidate? Invasive, maybe, but it works, say experts

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Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert is taking to texts to get her message out in her bid for re-election in June.

Schubert for two months has sought the support of potential voters via messages that pop up on cellphones. Text messaging, said Schubert campaign manager David Gilliard, is just “another tool in the tool box” of a political campaign. Real Justice, which supports Schubert's challenger Noah Phillips, also targets potential voters via texts, said Vince Duffy, Phillips' campaign manager. 

Voting surge expected for California June primary election

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Neighborhood polling places are history in five California counties: Sacramento, Nevada, Napa, San Mateo and Madera.

They are being replaced by one-stop vote centers, drop boxes and voting by mail. The changes are part of the Voters Choice Act, designed to give Californians more choices on how they can vote. 

At the Sacramento County Elections office, hundreds of ballots are arriving each day. 

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