News

Casting a Vote-by-Mail Ballot? Follow These Tips to Make Sure it’s Counted

Sacramento, CA -- A growing percentage of California voters will cast vote-by-mail ballots in the state’s March 3 Presidential Primary, but not all of those ballots will get counted.

“While casting a vote-by-mail ballot is a popular option, it’s not without its challenges,” said California Voter Foundation (CVF) President Kim Alexander, whose organization works to improve the vote-by-mail process through research and legislative reforms. 

In 2018, one out of every 100 vote-by-mail ballots cast got rejected according to data published by the Secretary of State. Mail ballots are rejected primarily for three reasons - arriving too late, or the voter forgetting to sign their ballot envelope, or the signature not sufficiently matching the voter’s signature on file.

Mobilizing The Youth Vote In 2020

How are young people looking at the 2020 primaries and the general election? What motivates young voters to cast a vote?

These are the questions organizations all over the country are asking in doing outreach, specifically to young voters. Their focus is also on pre-registering young people to vote, as long as they will be 18 by Nov. 3. What strategies and tactics are these organizations using? Are they different in California?

Guests

California Officials Say Iowa Caucus Problems Can’t Happen In Primary

Excerpt:

 The botched voting process in the Iowa caucuses has California officials reassuring voters ahead of the upcoming March 3rd primary.KA_KPIX_interview

Iowa Democrats say they have finally reported all the results from Mondays caucus, but some inconsistencies remain.

“Look, I’ve been hearing about it nonstop since Monday Night,” said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. “What happened in Iowa? How do we know that’s not going to happen here in California?”

That Padilla feels the need to reassure voters here just reflects the scale of the fiasco in Iowa. Of course, this was not Iowa’s fault. The mess lands squarely in the lap of the Iowa Democratic Party.

“Well, as the state party chair, I have some level of empathy for my colleagues in Iowa,” says Rusty Hicks, Chairman of the California Democratic Party. He says he’s not worried about March 3rd.

“So our process is run by the Secretary of State,” said Hicks of the primary. “I have the utmost confidence that we will have a fair, accurate and complete count.”

Voting would be mandatory in elections if California bill passes

Excerpt:

Every registered voter in California might be required to vote in an election if a North Bay assemblyman’s bill becomes law.

Asm. Marc Levine (D - Marin County) introduced Assembly Bill 2070 to the legislature on Tuesday, so it still has a long way to go. If the bill manages to go the distance, it would require every registered voter in the state to cast a ballot by mail or at a vote center beginning in 2022.

The Secretary of State would also be able to enforce the bill with "civil remedies" to maximize voter turnout.

"Democracy is not a spectator sport — it requires the active participation of all of its citizens," Levine said."California is a national leader on expanding voting rights to its citizens. Those rights come with a responsibility by registered voters to cast their ballot and make sure that their voice is heard by their government. 

"This is not a time to be complacent at the ballot box. My AB 2070 will ensure that the voices of all California voters are heard loud and clear."

Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, said people will have strong feelings about the assemblymember's proposal.

"If nothing else, it will generate lively discussion about whether mandatory voting in California is a good idea or not," Alexander said. 

California Hosts First Formal Presidential Debate

Transcript excerpt:

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: 

Tonight California receives a sign of its enlarged role in the presidential nominating process. The most populous state used to hold its primary at the end of the voting season, by which time party nominees were often decided. In 2020, California votes earlier. And today Los Angeles, Calif., will host a Democratic presidential debate. Seven candidates will be onstage.

Here's Scott Shafer from our member station KQED.

SCOTT SHAFER, BYLINE: Two years ago, frustrated by always being in the shadow of Iowa and New Hampshire, California State Senator Ricardo Lara introduced a bill to move up the state's presidential primary from June to March.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RICARDO LARA: The Prime Time Primary bill would make us one of the first states to hold a presidential primary and ensure our state's voters are heard on the national stage.

SHAFER: The bill passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law. For decades, California has gone back and forth between holding its presidential primary in March and June with mixed results.

KIM ALEXANDER: We are 1 in 8 voters in the country, so we do want California to have a say.

SHAFER: Kim Alexander is president of the California Voter Foundation, a strong supporter of changing the primary date. She says it's now or never to have an impact, given that California isn't one of the few swing states in November.

ALEXANDER: If we want Californians to have a voice in deciding who the president is, we really have to focus on the primary.

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