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Ten Things to Know about the California Presidential Primary

1. Of California’s 25.3 million eligible voters, 20.7 million, or 82 percent are registered as of February 18. This is this highest rate of registration heading into a California presidential primary in the past 68 years, according to California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla. California’s Presidential Primary, which was held in June in 2012 and 2016, is taking place this year on March 3, Super Tuesday, in an effort to give California voters a greater say in deciding who the presidential candidates will be. 

2. For the first time, Californians can register at any voting site and vote on Election Day. Under SB 72, enacted in 2019, Californians can conditionally register and cast a conditional ballot at polling places if they have never been registered. Another law enacted just last month, SB 207, allows Californians who are registered but have moved within their county or wish to update their party preference to complete and sign a short form and cast a regular ballot. These reforms help voters who need to change their party preference so they can vote for the Presidential candidate of their choice, but may result in long lines at some voting sites on Election Day.

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.

CVF urges Gov. Newsom to help voters by signing SB 523, SB 72 and AB 681 into law

In the final days of this year's legislative session, the California Legislature passed three important bills supported by the California Voter Foundation and many other voter advocacy groups.

If signed into law, SB 72, SB 523 and AB 681 will enact important reforms that will improve the voting process and experience for potentially hundreds of thousands of California voters. CVF is urging Gov. Newsom to sign these bills into law to ensure all Californians can exercise their voting rights in 2020 and beyond:

CVF supports bills to help Californians exercise their voting rights

The California Legislature is winding down the first year of its 2019-20 session and the California Voter Foundation is supporting three important bills that, if enacted, will improve California's voting process in advance of the 2020 Presidential election:

  • Senate Bill 72, by Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) will allow voters to register to vote at all polling places on Election Day starting in 2020.

Under current law, Californians may register on Election Day only at county election or satellite offices, or, if their county has implemented the Voter's Choice Act (VCA) voting model, at vote centers.

SB 72 will ensure voters have equal access to Election Day registration regardless of whether their county has implemented the VCA. Voters who register on Election Day do so "conditionally" and their eligibility is verified before their ballots are counted. If enacted, California will join nine other states and DC in providing Election Day registration at polling places. This bill is currently in Assembly Appropriations. CVF's support letter is online.

New "Proposition Song” Music Video Released!

Today a new “Proposition Song” music video was released by the California Voter Foundation (CVF), designed to give voters an informative, impartial and entertaining overview of all 11 measures on California’s ballot in just five minutes. 

The song and video can be accessed at www.calvoter.org or on YouTube at https://youtu.be/PuWd4FVuM5Q. It was recorded live on October 25 at Two Rivers Cider in Sacramento. 

CVF Applauds Governor Brown's signing of SB 759

The California Voter Foundation applauds Governor Jerry Brown's signing of Senate Bill 759 which requires all California counties, beginning with the November 2018 election, to contact voters whose signatures on vote-by-mail ballots are challenged and give them an opportunity to provide a valid signature so their ballot will be counted and not rejected. SB 759 as chaptered can be accessed here

CVF supports postage-paid mail ballot envelopes, March Presidential Primary 

The 2017-18 California legislative session is well underway, and the California Voter Foundation is supporting several bills this year:

  • AB 216: Authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), this bill would require counties to provide postage-paid envelopes to vote-by-mail voters. The bill passed out of the Assembly Elections Committee last month, and CVF president Kim Alexander testified in support. 

As stated in CVF's support letter, this bill is needed to reduce voter confusion about postage costs and to ensure younger voters less familiar with the postal service are not disadvantaged when voting by mail, especially given the likely increase in mail balloting with the implementation of the Voter's Choice Act beginning in several counties next year.

  • SB 568 and AB 84: SB 568 is authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and is sponsored by Secretary of State Alex Padilla. The bill, which if enacted would move California's presidential primary to the third Tuesday in March, passed out of the Senate Elections Committee this week on a bipartisan, unanimous vote. To avoid the risk of other states leapfrogging their primaries ahead of California's, the bill also includes a provision that would allow the governor to set the primary date before the third Tuesday in March at least 240 days prior to that date. 

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