A state lawmaker from the Silicon Valley has reintroduced a constitutional amendment that would lower the California voting age to 17, betting that a larger Democratic majority in the Legislature this year will help his proposal reach the ballot. An amendment requires the approval of two-thirds of the state Assembly and Senate, and the approval of voters. Last year, a similar proposal from Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low of Campbell failed to reach the necessary margin of 46-24. This time around, there are more Democrats in the Assembly, Low spokeswoman Maya Polon said, adding that the legislation enjoys bipartisan support.Full Article: Amendment would lower California voting age from 18 to 17 | The Sacramento Bee.
Articles about voting issues in California.
California: L.A. County and state to purge 1.5 million inactive voters from rolls | Los Angeles Daily News
California and Los Angeles County have agreed to purge as many as 1.5 million inactive voter registrations across the state as part of a court settlement finalized Wednesday with Judicial Watch, a conservative activist group. Judicial Watch sued the county and state voter-registration agencies in Los Angeles federal court, arguing that the state was not complying with a federal law requiring the removal of inactive registrations that remain after two general elections, or two to four years. Inactive voter registrations usually occur when voters move to another country or state or pass away but remain on the rolls. The lawsuit alleged that Los Angeles County, with more than 10 million residents, has more voter registrations than it has citizens old enough to register with a registration rate of 112 percent of its adult citizen population. The lawsuit also uncovered that neither California nor Los Angeles County had been removing inactive voters from the voter registration rolls for the past 20 years, according to Judicial Watch.Full Article: L.A. County and state to purge 1.5 million inactive voters from rolls – Daily News.
California: State probing whether DMV’s delay of voter registration applications affected election | San Francisco Chronicle
Hundreds of voter registration applications were delayed last fall at California’s trouble-plagued Department of Motor Vehicles, and the state is trying to determine whether any election results were affected, officials said Tuesday. The DMV acknowledged that it had received 589 registration applications that it failed to forward to Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s office before the deadline for the Nov. 6 election. Of that number, 329 were from people who had not previously registered to vote, and the other 260 had moved to a different county and were trying to re-register. It’s not known yet how many of those voters tried to cast ballots and were either turned away or failed to have their votes counted. But in papers filed in a San Francisco federal court, which is overseeing the settlement of a suit by voting-rights advocates against the DMV, Padilla agreed to make sure every vote was counted if the application was properly submitted by the Oct. 22 registration deadline, and to determine whether any election outcomes would be affected.Full Article: California probing whether DMV’s delay of voter registration applications affected election - SFChronicle.com.
California: California Voting Rights Act survives legal challenge, but it’s not over | San Francisco Chronicle
A federal judge has rejected a challenge to the California Voting Rights Act, which has required numerous local governments to switch from at-large to district elections to empower their minority populations. But the conservative who won a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a key section of the federal voting-rights law says the California case is headed for higher courts. “We are disappointed with the ruling. We have every intention of seeking an appeal (in) the Ninth Circuit (Court of Appeals), and beyond if necessary,” Edward Blum, president of the nonprofit Project on Fair Representation, said Tuesday. The California law, passed in 2002, requires local governments and districts that hold at-large elections, drawing all candidates from the entire area, to change to district elections if a local minority group can show that voting in the community favors the majority because of racial polarization. That requires proof that a majority racial group has historically voted as a bloc to elect its own candidates or to pass race-related ballot measures opposed by minorities.Full Article: California Voting Rights Act survives legal challenge, but it’s not over - SFChronicle.com.
California: Election officials said DMV wasn’t ready to launch Motor Voter. California went ahead anyway | The Sacramento Bee
As California prepared to launch its new Motor Voter program last year, top elections officials say they asked Secretary of State Alex Padilla to hold off on the roll-out. The plan called for the Department of Motor Vehicles to automatically register people who came into its offices, one of several efforts by Democrats controlling California politics to make it easier for more people to vote. With the June 2018 primary approaching, election officials said they warned that the department that manages car registration and boat licenses was not yet prepared to register voters. “There wasn’t the appropriate readiness to go forward in April, and that was brought to the Secretary of State,” said Dean Logan, registrar for Los Angeles County, adding that he “definitely expressed concern” to the Secretary of State’s Office, as well as Padilla himself.Full Article: CA elections officials warned against Motor Voter launch | The Sacramento Bee.
Nearly 50,000 Californians currently on parole could regain the right to vote under a voting rights bill introduced on Monday. A group of Democratic lawmakers are pushing for a state constitutional amendment already coined the Free the Vote Act and are hoping to restore parolees’ voting rights in an effort to cut down statewide recidivism rates. Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, wants California to build on momentum gained last November in Florida where voters overwhelmingly passed a measure that restored voting rights to most felons who have completed sentences. He said that “roughly half of the states in the country are more progressive” than California in allowing felons and parolees the chance to vote, including Republican-led states like Maine, North Dakota and Utah.Full Article: California Bill Would Give Voting Rights to Parolees.
Come New Year’s Day, three major voting bills will become law in California, changing the way voters use vote by mail ballots. Assembly Bill 216 and Assembly Bill 306, both introduced to the legislature by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, will expand voting rights in the state and clarify certain aspects of vote by mail ballots to make voting easier for Californians. Assembly Bill 2218, which increases transparency of vote by mail ballots was also passed after being introduced by Assemblymember Marc Berman. AB 216 simplifies the use of vote by mail ballots—the elections official is required to deliver all supplies necessary for the use and return of the ballot, including an identification envelope with prepaid postage. Prepaid postage!Full Article: California's new voting laws, explained | abc10.com.
California: Millions of California voters saw same-party races on November’s ballot and left the space blank | Los Angeles Times
As November’s election results become clear, so does a new California conundrum: Voters may like the top-two primary — which doesn’t guarantee any political party a spot on the fall ballot — but a lot of them skipped last month’s contests in which the only choices were candidates with the same party affiliation. It was not a lack of enthusiasm for the election. The percentage of registered voters who turned out was the highest for a regular gubernatorial election since 1982. Final results, expected later this week, will show about 12.7 million ballots cast statewide. But some races were left blank, in what elections officials call an “under-vote.” The reasons vary — some voters get confused or forget, and others simply don’t like either of the two contenders.Full Article: Millions of California voters saw same-party races on November's ballot and left the space blank - Los Angeles Times.
California: California doesn’t need better voting machines — it needs better audits, experts say | The Peninsula Press
When voters in Alameda and Santa Clara County head to the polls on Nov. 6, about one percent will cast their ballots on electronic voting machines that have known security vulnerabilities. California has safeguards in place. In addition to requiring paper records for votes cast on electronic machines, California also manually audits one percent of all ballots cast, to make sure there’s no discrepancy in the numbers. Now, experts like David Dill, a computer science professor at Stanford and founder of Verified Voting, are saying that isn’t enough, and are pushing states like California to implement more rigorous auditing methods. “The problem of protecting machines is pretty unmanageable, even with the best and most modern hardware … so what you need to do is select a bunch of ballots at random and hand count them in order to make sure the electronic counts are accurate,” says Dill.Full Article: California doesn’t need better voting machines — it needs better audits, experts say - Local: In The Peninsula.
The FBI has opened up an investigation into cyberattacks that targeted a California Democrat who eventually lost a tight House primary race earlier this year, according to Rolling Stone, citing a source close to the campaign. The inquiry centers on distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against the campaign website for Bryan Caforio, who finished third in the June primary. He was running in California’s 25th Congressional District, which is represented by Republican Rep. Steve Knight and is considered a seat that Democrats could flip in November. The attacks involved creating artificially heavy traffic on his website that forced the hosting company to block access to bryancaforio.com four times before the primary, including during a crucial debate and in the week before the primary. No website data was accessed from the site during the attacks.Full Article: FBI investigating cyberattacks targeting California Dem: report | TheHill.
Calling it unacceptable, Secretary of State Alex Padilla angrily criticized Department of Motor Vehicles officials Tuesday after they improperly registered about 1,500 people to vote in November’s election. Padilla did not mince words when it came to the error. “These mistakes from the DMV are totally unacceptable,” he told reporters. “It risks jeopardizing confidence in the electoral process which is why yesterday I called for an independent audit of the DMV’s technology and their practices…The DMV needs to get it together here real quick.” The focus is on the national Motor Voter Law that allows voters to register at DMV offices. Padilla said reports that all 1,500 people registered in error were non-citizens was not correct.Full Article: California Secretary Of State Rips DMV For Voter Enrollment Error « CBS San Francisco.
The spotlight on cyber vulnerabilities of political campaigns has grown brighter after three Democratic campaigns in California were hacked during the state’s primary elections. The campaigns of Bryan Caforio, Hans Keirstead and David Min all fell victim to cyber intrusions this year, underscoring a shortcoming that applies to political operations of various sizes: insufficient protections to guard against cyberattacks. The problem is particularly acute for smaller-scale campaigns, which often have fewer resources to ensure their technology and communications are secure, while incumbents can draw from bigger campaign accounts. But having more cash on hand doesn’t always mean it’ll be used to beef up protections. A recent McClatchy analysis of Federal Election Commission filings found that only six candidates running for seats in the House and Senate this election cycle have spent more than $1,000 on cybersecurity measures.Full Article: Primary season cyberattacks illuminate campaign vulnerabilities | TheHill.
California has declared open season on the use of bots to try to secretly influence elections. Legislation signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday makes it illegal to use automated online programs, or bots, to try to influence voters’ opinions during an election without revealing the source’s artificial nature. The law also applies to bots trying to sell merchandise or services. Bots are everywhere in technology, ranging from search engine spiders that crawl the internet looking for new web pages, to malicious bots that come with a virus. They’ve also been traced to Russian attempts to sow the seeds of discontent among Americans by spreading false or deceptive information during the 2016 election.Full Article: California bans bots secretly trying to sway elections - CNET.
California: Los Angeles County Supervisors Approve Investigation For Voter Registration ‘Errors’ | KHTS
The board unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger calling for an investigation into voter registration errors as a result of the new “motor voter” program managed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Created by the Motor Voter Act of 2015 and implemented in April 2018, the program automatically registers any eligible voters who apply for a driver’s license or identification card and transmits this data to the county where that person lives unless the individual specifically declines to participate. The state reported that 23,000 instances of voter registration errors occurred between mid-April and early August. The “motor voter” program has experienced other implementation issues as well, with 77,000 voter records allegedly being misreported in May by the DMV, according to officials.Full Article: Los Angeles County Supervisors Approve Investigation For Voter Registration ‘Errors’.
A bill recently signed by Gov. Brown designates the California Secretary of State to come up with the tracking system that will be optional for counties, including San Diego, to use. San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu said infrastructure would need to be built to use the vote by mail tracking system locally. Vu said the county will consider it. Vu added that already voters can check online when their ballot was issued and received. This new tracking system would allow voters to get a text or email about their ballot. Notifications would come when ballots are sent in the mail and once they have been picked up and officially counted. The system must be in place by 2020, and the bill designates the secretary of state to create it.Full Article: Taking A Page From UPS, State To Allow Voters To Track Mail-In Ballots | KPBS.
California election officials are launching a new effort to fight the kind of disinformation campaigns that plagued the 2016 elections — an effort that comes with thorny legal and political questions. The state’s new Office of Elections Cybersecurity will focus on combating social media campaigns that try to confuse voters or discourage them from casting ballots. During the 2016 election, in addition to hacking email accounts and attacking voting systems, Russian agents used social media to plant disinformation intended to drive down voter turnout.Full Article: California Launches New Effort To Fight Election Disinformation : NPR.
The campaign website of a Democratic congressional candidate in California was taken down by cyberattacks several times during the primary election season, according to cybersecurity experts. Rolling Stone reported on Thursday that cybersecurity experts who reviewed forensic server data and emails concluded that the website for Bryan Caforio, who finished third in the June primary, was hit with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks while he was campaigning. The attacks, which amount to artificially heavy website traffic that forces hosting companies to shut down or slow website services, were not advanced enough to access any data on the campaign site, but they succeeded in blocking access to bryancaforio.com four times before the primary, including during a crucial debate and in the week before the election.Full Article: California Dem hit with DDoS attacks during failed primary bid: report | TheHill.
California election officials are launching a new effort to fight the kind of disinformation campaigns that plagued the 2016 elections — an effort that comes with thorny legal and political questions. The state’s new Office of Election Cybersecurity will focus on social media efforts to discourage or confuse voters into not casting a ballot. During the 2016 election, in addition to hacking email accounts and attacking voting systems, Russian agents used social media also planted disinformation intended to drive down voter turnout.Full Article: California Launches New Effort To Fight Election Disinformation - capradio.org.
California: Can DMV be trusted to register voters after 23,000 botched registrations? | San Jose Mercury News
The California Department of Motor Vehicles’ acknowledgement this week that it botched 23,000 voter registrations is raising new questions about whether it can be trusted to register voters at a time when election integrity is under renewed scrutiny nationwide. The DMV said the errors are being corrected and that new safeguards — put in place after the mistakes surfaced — seem to be working. But the registration mistakes come at a time when the DMV is already under fire over massive backlogs in processing new federally compliant IDs, known as Real IDs. “Waiting in line is one thing, but having your voter registration tampered with without your knowledge or consent is a very disturbing development,” Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, said Thursday. “This touches on the very security and honestly the sacredness of a person’s registration and votes. This calls into question the ability of the DMV to manage voter registration.”Full Article: Can DMV be trusted to register voters after 23,000 botched registrations?.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles on Wednesday said it has discovered it sent the Secretary of State’s Office 23,000 erroneous voter registrations. The agency said the errors occurred within the state’s Motor Voter program — which allows eligible applicants getting a driver license to be automatically registered to vote. The DMV said the errors stem from technicians toggling between multiple screens and registration information being improperly merged. According to the agency, 1,600 residents did not complete a voter registration affidavit and had their information sent to the secretary of state, which maintains the state’s list of registered voters. The DMV said none of the applicants were undocumented immigrants. “We are committed to getting this right and are working closely with the Secretary of State’s office to correct the errors that occurred,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said in a statement.Full Article: California DMV processed 23,000 voter registration errors | The Sacramento Bee.