On Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article by John Wildermuth about the likelihood that more vote-by-mail ballots will be cast in tomorrow's election than ballots cast at the polls. Excerpts are below.
"Mail voters might be a majority next Tuesday, but it will be an anomaly," said Kim Alexander, president and founder of the California Voter Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting the responsible use of technology in voting.
"While the actual number of mail voters doesn't fluctuate that much, the percentage does," she added. "In a high- turnout election like November's presidential, the mail voters are a smaller fraction of the total."
Schwarzenegger's decision to release the devastating budget details just days before the election points out one of the problems with mail voting.
Up until the day of the election, "news stories are being produced, ads are coming out, more information is becoming available," said Alexander. "Maybe the governor's budget plan changed someone's mind, but if they've already voted by mail, they're out of luck."
While Alexander and other election reformers would like to see the state count every ballot that's postmarked by election day, that's not the way it works in California. Ballots that arrive after the 8 p.m. close of the polls remain unopened and uncounted.