Posts Tagged: voting
A photo illustration of whisper campaigns and conspiracies. (Image: Valery Sidelnykov, via Shutterstock)
In our culture, conspiracy theories are running rampant, and elections seem to be particularly prone to the craziest among them. Republicans, led by the president, have claimed that vote-by-mail is unsafe, non-citizens are registered to vote and casting ballots. Ballot “harvesting” is causing rampant voter fraud, President Trump says, and the system is being rigged against him. Even Attorney General Bill Barr claimed, incorrectly, that vote-by-mail eliminates the secret nature of voting in the US.
Political buttons emblazoned with a message for voters. (Photo illustration: Digital Storm, via Shutterstock)
Because it’s set an earlier date for primary election voting, California is now destined to play a more important role in 2020’s presidential campaigns. Candidates who ignore that new fact of political life will “get their asses kicked,” says one of the state’s top political consultants. “People in California are voting on the morning of the Iowa caucuses,” added campaign strategist Ace Smith.
A sign outside a Los Angeles voting location in 10 languages. (Photo: Underawesternsky, via Shutterstock)
Moves to make voting easier in California have caused yet another divide between Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans say they are worried because the door to voter fraud might swing wide open. Democrats say California needs greater civic participation by groups who have historically shown lackluster voting turnouts, and automatic vote-by-mail and electronic registration will help.
A group of millennial friends looking out at an urban landscape. (Photo: Eugenio Marongiu)
Millennials are better educated than previous generations; they are technologically savvy. For political types, they are a headache. They are the largest living generation. Even though there are 9.4 million California millennials, making them a potentially rich source of votes, they don’t vote in very high percentages unless they’re thrilled. They get more excited about general elections than midterms. That’s true of the electorate as a whole, usually, but it’s especially evident among millennials.
An illustration of the Internet and world wide web. (Ramcreations, Shutterstock)
OPINION: For years, the Silicon Valley mantra was “The Internet changes everything.” These days it’s more accurate to say “The Internet is always changing.” That’s why the conventional wisdom about online ad targeting and other digital means of finding voters can easily slip out of date. Things are always changing.
Voters in Ventura County cast ballots during a recent election. (Photo: Spirit of America, Shutterstock)
OPINION: The administrative procedures, technology systems and people who manage elections are the essential elements of self-governance – the distribution of ballots and information, the collecting, the counting, the reporting. Like much of our public infrastructure, these systems are not always adequately maintained or updated, until they make headlines themselves.
(Vector illustration: NoDenmand, via Shutterstock)
California’s primary election was filled with administrative glitches. And some of those problems actually may have disenfranchised voters who hoped to vote in a very dramatic presidential primary. Ironically, one of the largest post-election dramas surrounding the June vote in California was how these problems were being resolved.
The lighthouse off Front Street in Crescent City, Del Norte County. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)
After hours of passionate testimony, almost exclusively in support of beleaguered executive director Charles Lester, the Coastal Commission voted 7-5 to fire him. Four months later and 600 miles to the north, the aftershocks of the Commission’s political earthquake are still being felt: On June 7, Martha McClure, a commissioner who voted to fire Lester, lost the Del Norte County supervisor seat that she has held for the past 20 years.
The California coast along Redwood National Park, north Humboldt County, (Photo: Don Forthuber, redwoods.info)
A move to oust the executive director of the California Coastal Commission is under way, an effort that marks the most significant attempt against the commission’s ranking administrator in two decades. Commission Chair Steve Kinsey wrote a letter to Executive Director Charles Lester, saying the 12-member panel “will consider whether to dismiss you” at the commission’s February meeting.
Voters cast ballots at the November 2014 general election in Oak View, Calif. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)
We Californians justifiably become excited about our many remarkable achievements: we make terrific movies; Silicon Valley leads the planet in technological innovation; our traffic jams are world class. But when it comes to voting, we give a statewide shrug. A mere 42.2 percent of registered voters — registered voters — bothered to cast ballots in the November 2014 general election. Los Angeles County bottomed out statewide with a turnout of 31 percent. It gets even worse: The June 2014 turnout was 25.2 percent.