The California Voter Foundation (CVF) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 1994 and dedicated to improving the voting process to better serves voters, online at www.calvoter.org. CVF is a longtime leader in advancing the responsible use of technology in the democratic process, by pioneering online voter education, online campaign finance disclosure, and voter-verified paper ballot records and auditing requirements for computerized voting systems. Current priorities include: supporting Californians' right to equal treatment and protection in the voting process; increasing funding for election administration; and advancing voting system security and meaningful auditing of ballots in California and nationwide.
The California Voter Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization working through research, oversight, outreach, and demonstration projects to improve the election process so that it better serves the needs and interests of voters.
California Online Voter Guide and Proposition Song:
- Each election, CVF produces a nonpartisan California Online Voter Guide as well as the "Proposition Song", a video featuring local musicians performing a singalong song designed to help voters understand all the propositions on the ballot in just a few minutes. These online tools help voters make confident choices while providing an entertaining and engaging way to get informed. CVF has produced its online guide since 1994 and its song since 2000; all CVF's voter education resources remain archived online at www.calvoter.org.
Improving California's Vote-by-Mail ballot process by reducing the number of rejected mail ballots:
- Since 2014, CVF has been studying and working on reforms to improve California's vote-by-mail process. While voting by mail is a popular option, it is not without its problems. Every election, tens of thousands of vote-by-mail ballots are rejected statewide, primarily due to problems with voters' signatures -- that they are missing or rejected as not matching closely enough to the voter's signature on file. CVF is working to reduce this form of disenfranchisement by supporting an ACLU lawsuit challenging the state's existing laws as inadequate, supporting legislation that would require voters to be notified before their ballots are rejected and providing them an opportunity to provide a valid signature, and by engaging in Sacramento County's implementation of a new vote-by-mail voting process to reduce potential problems resulting from an expansion of voting by mail in Sacramento County.
Voting System Security and Voting Regulations:
- Since 2002, CVF has been the leading, and often only organization in California engaging in California's voting system certification process. CVF monitors this process closely, testifying at certification hearings as well as providing input on proposed regulations that impact voting security and voter confidence. As one of very few organizations providing this oversight on behalf of the public, CVF's role in the area of voting technology is prominent and impactful. As Sacramento County is moving to implement a new voting model, the equipment and procedures that support it must be robust and support voter confidence.
Promoting increased state funding for voting equipment and election administration:
- CVF has been focused on the chronic underfunding of elections since 2013, the year after the state legislature began withholding money to counties to pay for state-required election programs. This absence of funding creates inequality among counties and among voters who reside in different counties, resulting in voters in counties with a stronger tax base receiving more services and benefits than voters in counties with a weaker tax base. CVF has been studying this issue and is working with stakeholders on a solution to provide ongoing state support for local election administration. This effort has recently met with some success as the newly proposed state budget includes $134 million for counties to help them upgrade their voting systems and make them more secure, a provision that CVF supports.
Working for effective implementation of the Voters Choice Act in Sacramento County:
- Sacramento County is one of a handful of counties in California piloting a new voting model in 2018. Called the Voters Choice Act, this new voting model requires the county to mail every registered voter a vote-by-mail ballot; local polling places are eliminated and replaced with county-wide vote centers open to all voters over multiple days; voters will also have access to numerous drop boxes where they can return their voted ballots. These changes are significant and require a considerable amount of voter education. CVF is working with county election staff, nonprofit advocates, foundations and numerous voting rights activists to aid the county in this transition and ensure that voters are well-informed of this change and that their needs are put before administrative concerns.