Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) August 19, 2014
A new report issued today by the California Voter Foundation (CVF) finds that the top three reasons why some ballots go uncounted in three counties studied are that they are received too late, lack the voter’s signature, or the signature on the ballot envelope does not sufficiently compare to the one on file. The report is online at http://www.calvoter.org/votebymail.
“Casting a vote-by-mail ballot has become a popular option for California voters,” said Kim Alexander, CVF president and founder and the primary author of the new report, Improving California’s Vote-by-Mail Process: A Three-County Study. “But with its rise in popularity has come an increase in the number of vote-by-mail ballots cast that go uncounted.”
The three counties profiled – Sacramento, Orange and Santa Cruz – were selected to provide a comparison between counties serving small, medium and large voting populations. CVF studied four statewide elections across the three counties and found that:
These three reasons – late, no signature, and bad signature – account for 99 percent of the uncounted ballots in CVF’s three-county, four-election study. Overall, California’s mail ballot rejection rate is among the highest of all the states according to the Pew Center on the States’ Election Performance Index.
Additional findings from the three counties profiled include:
The report features the following legislative recommendations:
Administrative recommendations include: expanding statewide standards for signature verification; using barcodes to track vote-by-mail ballots; expanding and improving voter access to online lookup tools; improving voter education to help voters avoid common balloting mistakes; and educating postal workers about the importance of sending election mail through.
“The only thing worse than people not voting is people trying to vote and having their ballots go uncounted,” Alexander said. “Every statewide election, tens of thousands of vote-by-mail ballots arrive in county election offices that cannot be counted. By examining three counties in great detail we found a number of improvements that can be made to increase the vote-by-mail success rate, reduce disenfranchisement and improve turnout.”
The online report includes an executive summary, findings, profiles of the three counties, recommendations and numerous photographs, charts, and images.
The California Voter Foundation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization working to improve the voting process to better serve the needs and interests of voters. CVF’s study and report are supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation, and produced in partnership with the Future of California Elections (FOCE), a collaboration between election officials, civil rights advocates and election reform advocates to examine and address the unique challenges facing the State of California’s election system.