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Voting & Elections 12.1.2020

How California moved to the future of voting during a pandemic

Yet Asemanfar said her group’s Election Protection Program has observed perks with the early voting period, including the ability to fine-tune technology and fix errors without the crush of voters around. It’s also a chance for local groups to turn out the vote by holding community events around vote centers, she said. “We just need to acknowledge that it’s a new model, and a lot of voters are learning about it for the first time,” Asemanfar said. “There are a lot of conversations taking place for what the next steps might be for California.”

Money & Influence 11.24.2020

Inglewood caps campaign contributions at $100,000 to avoid new state law

“Campaign finance is a constant game of cat and mouse. As soon as states and cities institute campaign finance laws, bad actors try to circumvent them,” California Common Cause campaign finance consultant Sean McMorris said. “They’re essentially rolling out the red carpet for moneyed interests and saying we don’t care what anyone thinks.”

Assemblyman Appoints His Mother to Fresno Agency Board. Is it Nepotism?

Sean McMorris, a policy consultant with the non-partisan good government group California Common Cause, said the move raises questions. “In general, it is frowned upon and viewed as unethical when an elected appoints a family member or a close friend or relative to a position,” McMorris said.

Voting & Elections 11.3.2020

Millions of Californians returned ballots early, but some polls still saw long lines

Jonathan Mehta Stein of Common Cause California described Riverside County as “a mess,” early in the evening, saying voters were waiting 45 minutes to two hours at about 10 locations. Voters in Riverside were still in line after 8 p.m.

Voting & Elections 11.3.2020

A few glitches, but election day has generally gone smoothly in California

Even those who were registered found themselves delayed by other problems, including an “antiquated” check-in process to ensure they hadn’t voted twice — something every county must do this year, but that only Riverside did by hand, said Jonathan Mehta Stein of California Common Cause.

Voting & Elections 11.3.2020

Here’s what we’ll know — and what we won’t — on election night in California

In California, mail ballots can arrive up to 17 days after the election (though they still have to be postmarked by Nov. 3). So how to approach the evening? “Patience, patience, patience,” said Jonathan Mehta Stein, executive director of Common Cause California, a nonprofit focused on election transparency and democracy. “We’re trying to tell everybody that a long vote count means we’re doing everything we can to count every eligible vote,” he said. “It’s a feature, not a bug, of our democracy.”

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