Lawmakers Stick Locals with Costs of Voting

The new state budget is here, and once again it leaves the state’s election system holding an increasingly empty bag. For years counties have relied on the state to help fund state laws that change the voting process and in turn, make extra work and cost extra money for counties. The last time election mandates […]

California Initiative Campaigns Raise $120.6 Million

The campaigns behind the nine initiatives on California’s November 2 ballot have raised over $120.6 million according to a campaign finance analysis by the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation (CVF).

Proposition 23, which would suspend California’s global warming reduction law until the unemployment rate is below 5.5 percent, has attracted the most funding. Supporters have raised $9.1 million, primarily from oil and gas interests. Opponents, funded primarily by environmental organizations and wealthy individuals, have raised over $27 million. By contrast, Prop. 19, the measure that would tax, regulate and legalize marijuana, has raised the least amount, with supporters raising $2.7 million and opponents just over $200,000. Delivers Nonpartisan Election Information to California Voters

California Voter Foundation (CVF) debuted the Fall 2010 edition of its
California Online Voter Guide to help Californians prepare to vote in
the November 2 election.  The guide is online at

California voters face a long and complex ballot.  With eight statewide
offices on the ballot, one U.S. Senate contest, nine statewide
propositions, plus legislative, congressional and local races, a
typical voter will confront at least twenty voting decisions this

To help with that daunting task, CVF has produced a new edition of its nonpartisan California Online Voter Guide, serving as a "one-stop shop" to help voters sort through the state and federal contests.

The Proposition Song – November 2010

Oh we’re having an election,  
November two’s the day
There are nine state propositions
Come vote and have your say.

Prop. 19’s the first measure, it asks voters if we oughta
Regulate, tax and legalize marijuana

Each ten years congressional district lines get redrawn
Prop 20 says that job should go to a citizen commission.

Using iPhones to sign initiative petitions

Can you use your iPhone to sign an initiative petition? A northern California-based company, Verafirma, has developed an application that makes it possible. But is it legal? Is it secure? These are the questions that remain unanswered. Election officials will need to start figuring it out soon, though, because the proponents of an initiative seeking to legalize marijuana use in California have submitted their petitions for verification, and the batch includes a smattering of signatures submitted not on piece of paper, but on thumb drives that display the initiative petition along with an image of a voter’s signature captured when the voter wrote that signature on his or her iPhone screen using the Verafirma app.

And it’s not just an image of a signature – it’s something called "signature dynamic" that captures the pressure, speed and other special characteristics of the signature-in-the-making. This data can also be used for verification purposes – however, I do not believe the 58 county registrar offices have that technology in-house at this time. The counties that received these thumb drives have to either accept or reject the signatures on them. If they are rejected then there will likely be a legal battle and/or a legislative effort to change the law.