CVF in the News

If the House comes down to California, get ready to wait

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SACRAMENTO — An election night blue wave Tuesday could slow down considerably by the time it reaches the California coast, making the rest of America wait to see who will control the House in 2019.

Forget staying up all night to find out who won congressional seats here: Strategists and campaign experts say it could take days — if not weeks — to determine victors in a series of tight and closely watched midterm races in Southern California.

Rejection of Mail-In Ballots Raises Alarm Ahead of Election

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ATLANTA (AP) — Drawing on her years of military experience, Maureen Heard was careful to follow all the rules when she filled out an absentee ballot in 2016.

She read the instructions thoroughly, signed where she was supposed to, put the ballot in its envelope and dropped it off at at the clerk’s office in her New Hampshire town. She then left town so she could return to a temporary federal work assignment in Washington, D.C.

How your data is used to create the perfect midterm election ad

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It's scary how much each candidate in the upcoming midterm elections knows about you. And it's all information you've willingly given up over time.

The trove of data goes beyond voter registration information like your name, home address and date of birth. Thanks to an army of data crunchers who marry that information with data you drop at a clothing or automobile site, many candidates often have intimate knowledge of who you are and whether you're likely to support them. 

How California is expanding voter access to elections

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In California, you can register to vote online. You can request a mail ballot without providing a reason. If your ballot is postmarked by Election Day, it can arrive up to three days late and still count. Starting next year, you won’t even need a stamp.

As states across the country have moved aggressively to crack down on alleged voter fraud, California has shifted rapidly in the other direction, passing landmark legislation intended to make it easier to vote and to count as many ballots as possible.

Sacramento Bee Editorial: Veto AB 840

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California elections officials are proud of the integrity of this state’s elections. Brown ought to help them keep their record of accurate vote counts by vetoing Assembly Bill 840 by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, an East Bay Democrat. The bill zipped through at the end of the legislative session without a no-vote. Legislators must not have been paying attention. 

The Debate About Debates: Should Candidates Be Compelled to Participate?

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Currently, the terms of gubernatorial debates and whether or not they happen are largely dictated by the front-runner. Conventional wisdom says debates are more likely to help the challenger or the candidate who is behind in the polls.

It's true there were plenty of debates before the June primary, including a televised debate in San Jose with the six top-polling candidates for governor. But that's not the same as a one-on-one matchup, where it's harder to skate under the radar.

"The most important thing about debates is that it gets people on the record making commitments before they’re elected," said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation. "It isn’t so much that every registered voter will watch the debate, but rather you have a public record of what they say they'll do if they win."

While debates might not increase voter turnout, at least they would help publicize the fact that an election is happening and who's running, Alexander said. (full story)

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.

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