California Voter Foundation President Kim Alexander is celebrating 25 years since the organization was ‘relaunched’ in 1994 – she sat down with John Howar and Tim Foster of the CW podcast to talk about the history of CVF and what her top concerns are a quarter century after the kickoff. (listen here)
A Capitol Weekly Podcast
'It’s trying to vote-shame people into voting, and that’s just not the way to go'
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —
There is outrage this week from California voters and voter advocates after a controversial mailer showed up just days before a special election.
The mailers come from a group called the Northern California State Voter Project, but there’s no website and no phone number for the promoters, whose only known address is a post office box.
The mailer threatens to reveal people's voting history to friends, family and neighbors.
“I was really upset," said Susan Strand, a voter in El Dorado County. “I felt violated."
Strand showed KCRA 3 the letter she received from Northern California State Voter Project.
New voting systems in place for many California counties
California’s presidential primary is just 11 months away and work is already in progress to make sure the state is ready to count every vote.
The California election map is changing thanks to the Voter’s Choice Act, and there are now 11 counties that have replaced neighborhood polling places with voting centers. Voters in Los Angeles County will not automatically be sent a vote by mail ballot, but they will have to request one.
In three rural counties – Sierra, Plumas and Alpine – residents can only vote by mail.
30 people who embody Sacramento News & Review's mission
Skeptics might call them do-gooders. But in today’s world—when we could surely use as much good as possible—what’s wrong with that?
To highlight the 30th anniversary of SN&R, we want to recognize 30 people who embody our mission: To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live.
On purpose, the vast majority on this list are not high-profile politicians, the rich and powerful or other bold names. Many come from the nonprofit world, not well-known to the general public but working every day to help the less fortunate and to make public policy smarter and more humane. Some have been in the trenches for many years, while others are just emerging as leaders.
Like any list like this, it’s rather subjective. There are many others in the Sacramento region who are doing yeoman’s work and also deserving of praise.
President of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation, she’s a strong advocate for more informed voters having a bigger say, and for voters across the state having equal access to participate. Her group is particularly focused on making sure that technology helps—not harms—our democracy.
Two special elections were held in California on Tuesday, both for state Senate seats, and the enthusiasm among voters couldn’t have been more different.
In the Northern California’s 1st District, 26 percent of voters showed up to cast ballots. In the 33rd, which includes Long Beach and parts of southeast Los Angeles County, less than 7 percent showed up.
To put that in perspective, the third-place finisher in the 1st District race received more raw votes than the first-place finisher—Long Beach Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez—in the 33rd.
“I’d be hard-pressed to come up with two districts that are more different from one another,” said Rob Pyers, research director for the California Target Book, which provides comprehensive data to political professionals.
A national effort to bypass the Electoral College and pick the president by popular vote — which may or may not be constitutional — is picking up new support and moving closer to success.
Governors in Colorado, New Mexico and Delaware are poised to sign the National Popular Vote compact, under which states would pledge to give all their electoral votes to the candidate who collects the most votes nationwide. California, 10 other states and the District of Columbia already have joined the compact, which would take effect if states holding 270 electoral votes, the number needed to elect a president, sign on.
California loves to talk about itself in superlatives: The nation’s most populous state. The fifth-largest economy in the world. Producer of tech titans and Hollywood blockbusters and a whole lot of fruits and veggies.
But even as it basks in its outsize economic and cultural influence, something has been gnawing at the state’s psyche. When it comes to presidential politics, we’re more backbencher than behemoth.
The moving of California’s 2020 presidential primary to March 3 — nipping at the heels of the four traditional early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — is the latest bid to play with the calendar in hopes of gaining more electoral relevance. This will be the fifth time since 1992 the state has moved its presidential primary. It's bounced around: June, March, February and back again.
In two fiercely contested Central Valley congressional races in November, where long-serving Republican incumbents Jeff Denham and David Valadao both ended up losing their seats by thin margins to their Democratic challengers, some voters were confused and misinformed at the polls.
Modesto attorney Lisa Battista, who coordinated a group of volunteer election observers, said polling places in Stanislaus County ran out of pink envelopes used to separate provisional ballots on election night.
And then confusion set in.
“The poll workers didn’t know what to do,” Battista said. “They turned a lot of people away and told them: 'I'm sorry you can't vote here. You have to go find another polling place.'”
In response, Battista said she made an emergency request to keep polls open past 8 pm, but a judge turned it down.
As state election officials watch an angry President Trump and other partisan leaders slam what they claim are slow vote counts, political influence and delayed results in Florida, Georgia and Arizona elections, they have one thought: That could be California.
Days after Tuesday’s election, a handful of closely watched congressional races in California still haven’t been decided and a final count is days and possibly weeks away.
The first problem is a simple one: California is a really big state with a lot of people who vote.
By the time all the state’s precincts had reported on election night, about 7.4 million votes had been counted. But by Friday, there were still more than 4.8 million late-arriving and provisional ballots to be tallied.
"Policy and a Pint" Podcast
On November 8th, two days after the November General Election, CVF president Kim Alexander participated in a candid post-election discussion hosted by California Groundbreakers at Ruhstaller Brewing in downtown Sacramento. A podcast of the event is available online.