Advocacy and Testimony

CVF advocates on a select number of budget and policy issues via the California legislative process and also comments on regulations proposed by the California Secretary of State. 

  • In April 2024, CVF submitted letters of support for three bills introduced in the California Legislature to protect election workers and voters. AB 2642, authored by Assembly Member Marc Berman, will, if enacted, provide added protections to allow election workers and officials, and voters, to sue for civil damages if they encounter intimidating, threatening or coercive behavior at voting and election sites. AB 3211, authored by Assembly Member Buffy Wicks will, if enacted, require generative AI companies to embed digital provenance data within the digital media they create, empowering California voters to make informed, confident choices by enabling the public to verify the authenticity of media information. AB 2655, authored by Assembly Member Marc Berman, will, if enacted, require large, online platforms to help protect California elections by limiting the spread of online disinformation and deepfakes intended to influence elections by deceiving voters or preventing them from voting. Both AB 2655 and AB 2642 are part of a legislative package sponsored by the California Initiative for Technology & Democracy (CITED), a project of California Common Cause. 

  • In October 2023, CVF joined with nonpartisan, nonprofit voter advocacy groups including the ACLU of Northern California, California Common Cause, Disability Rights California, League of Women Voters of California and Verified Voting to ask California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber to monitor and support upcoming 2023 and 2024 elections in Shasta County. The joint letter asks the Secretary of State to take several actions in response to "grave concerns, which we believe call for urgent, decisive, and sustained response from your office." These concerns include the chair of Shasta County's board of supervisors making public statements indicating an intention to pursue a manual tally of election results in violation of newly-enacted state law, along with other statements and actions that cause voter confusion, undermine voter confidence and divert election staff attention from election duties. Secretary Weber's Oct. 27th letter to the Shasta County supervisors is available here

  • In June 2023, CVF joined with Verified Voting Foundation, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and California Common Cause in a letter providing written comments on draft Ballot Counting regulations proposed by the California Secretary of State. The four organizations' joint comments focus on including a definition for "chain of custody", the need to include ballot adjudication in the manual tally process, the importance of pubic access to the manual tally planning process and the ballot count cumulating process, the need for better tools to use when cumulating ballot counts, support for auditing the manual tally process, improvements to the random selection of precincts to verify software ballot tabulation, and support for public reporting of post-election audits. 

  • In February 2023, CVF joined with six other California nonprofit, nonpartisan voter advocacy groups urging Shasta County supervisors to reconsider their decision to terminate the county's voting system contract, warning it will harm the ability of voters to cast ballots in upcoming elections. The groups sent a second joint letter to Shasta supervisors in March explaining how computer technology is utilized to benefit the voting process and why relying solely on hand counts can produce inaccuracies and delay election results.

  • In 2022, CVF along with the Brennan Center for Justice co-sponsored Senate Bill 1131, authored by State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), to protect California election workers’ security and safety by allowing them to enroll in address confidentiality programs. SB 1131 was signed into law by Governor Newsom on September 26, 2022 and included an urgency clause, so the protections went into effect immediately and before the November 2022 election. During the committee process, the scope of the bill was expanded to make address confidentiality programs accessible to any government employee in the State of California, not just election workers. 

  • In 2022, CVF joined with numerous other voter advocacy groups to back a proposal to include $85 million in California's 2022-23 state budget to fund voter education and outreach statewide and within all 58 counties to ensure all voters are informed of their ability to cast ballots in person and to combat harmful election mis- and disinformation. This proposal was advanced in the state legislature by co-champions Assembly Members Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Mike Fong and endorsed by over a dozen lawmakers but was not successful. 

  • In 2022, CVF and Verified Voting opposed Senate Bill 1480, authored by State Sen. Steve Glazer, unless amended to study, rather than open the door to implement, alternative ballot return methods for voters with print disabilities. CVF submitted a second Letter of Opposition to the Assembly Elections Committee, and California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber also opposed SB 1480, which died in the Assembly Elections Committee after the author pulled the bill from the committee's hearing agenda. 

  • CVF joined with Verified Voting and several other election security organizations in signing on to a Nov. 16, 2021 letter urging the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to pause the City’s contracting process for an online, electronic ballot return project, to hold a public hearing on the project, and to consider initiating an investigation into the project. 

  • CVF provided testimony to the Little Hoover Commission for its October 28, 2021 hearing on California's Recall election process. 

  • CVF, ACLU California, League of Women Voters of CA, the Brennan Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Union of Concerned Scientists, NARAL, and the California League of Conservation voters joined together to support SB 503, authored by Sen. Josh Becker, to improve California's vote-by-mail and provisional ballot signature verification processes to protect voters and implement recommendations included in CVF's 2020 rejected ballots study, which Gov. Newsom signed into law in September 2021. 

  • CVF President Kim Alexander gave a presentation before the Alameda County Bar Association on June 29th, 2021 on the topic of Reforming the Electoral College by Expanding the House of Representatives, as part of the association's "Racial Equity Series – Deconstructing the Electoral College: Examining its History, Purposes, and Impact Today."

  • CVF, ACLU California and several other voter advocacy groups sent a letter August 5, 2020 to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to provide input on draft ballot signature verification regulations (exhibit A)

  • CVF and Verified Voting submitted a Letter of Concern to the Legislature regarding AB 860 and the need to strengthen technological components of California's November 2020 election plans. 

  • CVF supports AB 2400/Quirk which if enacted would facilitate risk-limiting audit pilots in California elections. 

  • CVF's March 27, 2020 memo to Secretary of State Alex Padilla providing Ten ideas for how California can address the coronavirus pandemic and conduct a secure and safe November 2020 election. 

  • CVF Letter of Support for SB 207/Hurtado, a 2020 bill to allow voters who are already registered in their county to update their address or political party preference by completing an affidavit instead of a conditional voter registration application. 

  • CVF Letter of Support for AB 681/Gonzalez, a 2019 bill to require county registrars to notify voters of their registered party preference and Presidential election voting choices in advance of the March 2020 Presidential Primary. 

  • CVF Letter of Support for SB 72/Umberg, a 2019 bill to require counties to provide voters with the ability to register or change their party preference on Election Day at all polling places statewide

  • CVF Letter of Support for SB 523/McGuire - a 2019 bill to require counties to notify voters whose signatures are missing from vote-by-mail envelopes and provide them with the ability to submit a valid signature so their ballot is counted and not rejected. 

  • CVF Testimony, California Public Hearing on Voting System Decertification, March 19, 2019

  • CVF Testimony before California Voting Modernization Board regarding the Voting Systems for All People project, March 15, 2019

  • CVF Recommendations for Improving the Voter's Choice Act Model in Sacramento County

  • CVF letter in support of SB 759, a new state law enacted in 2018 to require counties to contact voters with mismatched vote-by-mail ballot envelope signatures and provide an opportunity to submit a valid signature so their ballot will be counted and not rejected

  • Joint "Oppose Unless Amended" letter on AB 2125 from CVF and other election security advocacy groups - CVF teamed up with several other organizations to successfully seek amendments to AB 2125, a law enacted in 2018 that allows counties as a 2020 pilot project to implement risk-limiting audits in place of the traditional one percent manual tally to verifiy election results. The amendments ensure that only voter-verified paper ballots or audit records will be used to conduct a risk-limiting audit, that all validly cast ballots be taken into account and that the public be able to verify, not merely observe, that the audit was properly conducted. 

  • Ten Tips for Registering Californians to Vote
  • Election Funding and Governance Proposal

This proposal was developed by CVF in collaboration with representatives of the Future of California Elections (FoCE), the League of Women Voters, the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials, California Forward, the Secretary of State, California State Association of Counties, the Deparrtment of Finance and Verified Voting Foundation. It seeks to establish a funding formula in state law where the state pays 50 percent of counties' local election costs and counties provide greater consistency in voters' services statewide. Developed by the Election Funding Working Group formed by CVF and FoCE in 2016, this proposal was the result of a year-long effort undertaken by working group members. California Forward's 2016 study, Investing in California's Democracy:  Building a Partnership for Performance was also an influential resource for this proposal. 

Visit CVF's Advocacy and Testimony Archives page for a complete list of positions on legislation CVF has taken on California legislation since 2013. 


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.

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. 

Five reasons why Governor Brown should sign AB 216

Sacramento -- The California Voter Foundation urged Governor Jerry Brown to sign Assembly Bill 216 to provide postage-paid vote-by-mail ballot return envelopes to all California voters. On July 18, Governor Brown signed AB 216 into law. Below is an excerpt of the support letter CVF sent to Governor Brown, providing five reasons why the bill should be signed. 


Here are five reasons why California should enact AB 216:

1) Removes a major voting obstacle.

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