Thursday, December 20, 2007

CVF's new online voter guide for Feb. 5 election debuts!

With California's presidential primary election just six weeks away, today the California Voter Foundation released its 2008 California Online Voter Guide, a nonpartisan Internet resource to help Californians get ready to vote.

California is the largest of 22 states that will be voting on nominees for president on February 5, which has been dubbed "Super-Duper Tuesday". Californians who vote by mail will begin receiving their ballots the week of January 7th, nearly a month ahead of the February election, and less than three weeks from today.

With four in ten California voters expected to vote by mail, the presidential primary is actually a month-long election season that kicks off on January 7. California's Legislature changed the Presidential primary election date in an effort to increase California's clout in the Presidential nominee selection process. February 5 is the first of three California statewide elections taking place in 2008.

In addition to selecting Presidential nominees, California voters will also be voting on seven propositions that would change school funding rules, legislative term limits and tribal gaming agreements.

The accelerated campaign schedule has placed elections in the middle of the holiday season. Presidential candidates are touting the holiday theme in campaign ads that have begun to air online and in other early primary states. While some voters may be reluctant to talk politics with family members around the holidays, families can have a significant impact on potential voters.

A 2005 CVF survey found that two-thirds of California's infrequent voters say that when they do vote, family members are an influential source of information. Family visits can be a great opportunity to talk about the candidates and measures on the ballot, and help each other get prepared to vote.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Online Voter Registration hearing - my testimony & webcast

Last Friday I participated in a California State Senate hearing sponsored by the Senate Elections Committee to explore the feasibility of online voter registration. The hearing was chaired by State Senator Ron Calderon, who intends to introduce legislation early next year to advance online registration. During the hearing, the possibility of reconvening the Internet Voting Task Force was also discussed. My testimony and this California Channel webcast of the hearing are available online.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Update on California legislative hearings

On Monday I was in Los Angeles for the Assembly's hearing on voter participation and new technologies. My powerpoint presentation is available here, and features highlights from CVF's California Voter Participation Survey. A PDF version is also available.

Tomorrow I'm heading over to the State Senate's Online Voter Registration hearing at the State Capitol, Room 113. The hearing starts at 10 a.m.. Here is the agenda, which features links to an overview by the committee and the Arizona Secretary of State's powerpoint presentation. Scheduled speakers include:

- Craig Stender, HAVA Project Manager, Arizona Secretary of State

- Robert Rubin, Legal Director, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

- Ronda Paschal, Deputy Secretary of State, Legislative and Constituent Affairs, California Secretary of State

- Dennis Clear, Legislative Director, California Department of Motor Vehicles

- Kim Alexander, President and Founder, California Voter Foundation

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Please contribute to the California Voter Foundation!

In the rough and tumble world of California politics, where can voters turn?

The award-winning California Voter Foundation web site provides a safe, informative and consistently nonpartisan place for voters to learn about California propositions, candidates and politics. And after you vote, CVF works to ensure our votes will be accurately counted and verified.

CVF is asking you to help us help California voters. Will you make a contribution to support the California Voter Foundation? It's easy and it's tax-deductible! You can make a credit card donation online using PayPal (and you don't even need a PayPal account to do it).

California voters decide which politicians and policies will govern this great state. Those decisions impact the quality of our lives and reverberate far and wide, impacting the nation and world as well. The reliable information California voters need to make such important decisions is at

Next year, California voters will be voting in three statewide elections, including, for the first time, a February Presidential primary! Please help us help California voters get prepared and informed for all of these elections, by contributing to CVF. If you prefer to donate by check, please make it payable to "California Voter Foundation" and send it to:

California Voter Foundation
2612 J Street, Suite 8
Sacramento, CA 95816

Thank you for supporting CVF's nonpartisan work to educate voters and advance transparency and accountability in the vote counting process!

Friday, December 7, 2007

CA legislative hearings next week on voter outreach & registration

Two California legislative hearings are taking place next week and I'll be participating in both. Here are the details:

On Monday, December 10, the Assembly is holding a hearing in Los Angeles. The subject is, "How Can California Modernize Voter Education & Outreach: Lessons Learned From New Media Pioneers".

The hearing takes place from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Junipero Serra State Building, 320 West Fourth Street in downtown Los Angeles, in the Carmel Room. It's a joint hearing sponsored by the Assembly Arts & Entertainment Committee and the Assembly Elections Committee, and will be chaired by Assemblymembers Betty Karnette (D-Long Beach) and Curren Price (D-Inglewood). I'll be presenting findings from our 2005 California Voter Participation Survey. Also addressing the committees will be California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and representatives from Rock the Vote, MySpace and Facebook.

Then at the end of next week, on Friday, December 14, the Senate Elections Committee will conduct a hearing to examine the potential for online voter registration. It starts at 10 a.m. in Room 113 at the State Capitol in downtown Sacramento. The hearing will be chaired by State Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) and will include representatives from the Arizona Secretary of State's Office, the California DMV, Lawyer's Committee on Civil Rights, and the California Secretary of State's Office. I'll be speaking at this hearing as well and will be highlighting potential security and election fraud issues that could result from online voter registration.

Both hearings will likely be recorded and aired on the California Channel, possibly live, on TV and on the web. They are open to the public and there will be an opportunity for public comment.